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Debate: Free public transportation

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Should all public transport be free and paid for by the government?


Background and Context of Debate:

Some governments have considered paying for public transport out of taxpayers' money, thus making it free. This would take cars, along with congestion, off our roads, and help the environment, so many people think it's a great idea and everyone would be able to see its advantage. However, like nearly all policies, it does have its cons. This debate article explores that.

In Belgium the govermnet actually tried making public transport free, and it is a huge success. Lots of money was saved by all parties; the transport companies, the government and particularly the customers. They saved on everything, even printing tickets.

Would free public transport help the environment?


Free pubilc transport would reduce the number of cars on the road. Global warming is a serious issue and if public transport was free, more people would use it, taking cars off the road. This is good because 1 train could take 2000 cars off the road.


We would need more public transport. Buses, planes, trains etc. all harm the environment, just as cars do. If everyone used public transport, more buses would pollute cities.

Could the government pay for public transport services?


The Government's job is to provide services. This would be a great service that could be used by everyone. Taxes already pay for health care, schools and roads etc. so why not let taxpayers see the benefits for themselves, in a useful service everyone can use.

The environment would greatly benefit. As well as providing services, the govermnet should look out for the environment. No amount of money is too much to protect the environment.


With the financial crisis, we can't afford to spend more money on something like this.

Would this create jobs?


We would need more public transport workers. With increased and better public transport, we would need more bus and train drivers, creating jobs. This is great with the global financial crisis. And it work make it easier for people to get to their job - they could just get on a bus.


Car sales would drop significantly. If it was free for everyone to get to work, families wouldn't need two or three cars; just one or even none, depending on their availability to public transport of course. Most families have several cars, and one is used just for someone to get to work each day. This wouldn't be necessary. It would hurt the car indudtry and car makers would most likely lose their jobs, and car companies may collapse, which is very bad news.

There are many people who would also lose their jobs. People like conductors, parking cops and plenty of other people wouldn't have their jobs any more, because their services would be no longer required.

Would this just put more strain on already poor public transport services?


Some public transport cities are already terrible; this would just increase the strain. Some public transport netowrks are already crowded and/or unreliable. With increased customers and pressure, these networks wouldn't manage.


The government would be forced to improve public transport. With more users, bad transport networks would be improved by the government, to make it worthwhile using.

If public transport was free, would more people use it?


Heaps of people would be tempted by free transport. If free public transport was offered to everyone, of course they would use it. Yes, some people may stick to their cars, but the majority would think it was a great idea. If you had the choice of paying thousands each year to run a car, or to get on a train every morning for free, what would you choose?


Many people dislike public transport. Many people will stick to their cars, and some would even stop using public transport, because with it being free, so many people will use it, it would become a mess and be way too crowded.


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