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Monday Night Owls - 10 December 2018 - A city with entirely free public transport

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,045 Teacher
We read an article about a city in France which offers free public transport to everyone, residents and visitors:


Vocabulary Top 10:

just for the fun of it - to do something for no particular reason, just for fun

dazzling - extremely bright, especially so as to blind the eyes temporarily

upholstery - the cloth, leather, etc., that covers a couch, chair, etc.

howling - producing the long, low sound made by strong wind

drizzle - rain that falls lightly in very small drops

dampen - to make (something) less strong or active

hop-on, hop-off bus - a bus that you pay for once, and then can get on and off as many times as you like in a certain period

slash - to reduce (something) by a large amount

dogma - a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted

levy - an amount of money that must be paid and that is collected by a government or other authority

What do you think would happen if public transportation was free in your city?


  • BassaBassa Posts: 103 ✭✭✭
    Hi @NatashaT , actually my village is very small, it’s easier to go walking from one place to another .
    Anyway the purpose of free transport for different realities, example big towns, could by a good initiative especially in contests were people sometimes isn’t so onest and try to use transport services don’t buying a ticket... So why don’t make it free, catching economic resources in other ways ... a good example is also made in the article imposing people to declare the real country of residence.

    The other problem mentioned related to the fact that is something is free people doesn’t care it or care it less...I think as the French mayor says : it’s a dogma to beat !
    We all live in a country or in planet, making the speech more general so, something that is used by me and be others is something that owns to the collectivity and this is the reason of why we all should to take care of it.
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,821 mod
    We had a fare-free public transportation in one city in our country.
    That was a political stunt of the then governor and he succeeded in his aim.
    He was chosen a couple of times.
    But, after 17 jears, his successor had to scrap this rule because of financial problem.
    Is it a good case, such a fare-free public transport?
    It is a bit an anti-cycling and anti-pedestrian measure as they said in the article, and nothing is ever totally free.
    Maybe this public transport is free but they increase the tax in another posts, as always! :o
    And at the end we all pay for those free stuff by paying our taxes more and more.
    Instead, they better make the fares cheaper instead of higher every year.
    It's almost new year now, and I'm sure there will be some changes in everything.

    By the way, I always say "Good morning or good afternoon" to the drivers eventhough we have to pay for the bus ... it is them who doesn't say back to us. :D

  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,918 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If something they gave me beyond fare payment, all of a sudden, as a result of a unpredictable turnabout, an overnight U-turn, flips free, I can't but be suspicious and smell a rat.

    The first thing to pass in my mind would be that, so far, I've been cheated out of my money, unless the buses were now operating in an unmanned way, by an AI provided automatic driver, powered by solar panels and so on.

    Shortly, by using renewable resources needing no running money apart from initial investment.

    Otherwise, I believe, in any economic sectors, there don't exist free meals at all: therefore you need to find out where the money needed to operate the public transport service come for.

    I suppose the article itself gave us a good hint to it.

    Apart from the 10% of cost coming directly from the purchased tickets, the remains of the financial resources came in the following percentages:

    60% from companies' and public bodies' levies.

    30% from the municipality itself, if I remember right.

    So, the companies probably, in turns, charged the imposed taxes upon the cost of goods on market, whereas the public bodies and the municipality, needless to day, couldn't but milk the fatty cow, as saying the masses, as usual.

    Therefore, at best, I suppose all the matter ends up a draw: what I spend in taxes return to me as a free service.

    In fact, now makes much more sense: if I spend for a public service covering tax, I have the right to have such service for free: it is the opposite which should hit the headlines, really. ;) .

    However I would welcome such a novelty if it happened to make its way all through Southern Europe until reaching my country too.

    I believe it could make the miracle to finally cram ( with the most ' parsimonious ' citizens at least ) the often empty buses which criss-cross my town.

    As for the hardened motorists, however, I hold little hope they could ever convert to public transport; only just considering the mere possibility would sound an anathema to them, I'm afraid.

    Some of them really seem riveted or welded to their car seats.

    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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