You are here

TSSA calls for public transport fares to be slashed; let’s all do the same!

By Paul Atkin - Greener Jobs Alliance, August 4, 2022

TSSA calls for public transport fares to be slashed – let’s all do the same!

In a sharply worded blog on the TSSA web site, General Secretary Manuel Cortes notes that we have to deal with

two crises running in parallel – the climate … heating up at an unprecedented rate leading to increased extreme weather disasters and …an ever-deepening Tory cost of living crisis, inflation and costs are up, but wages are stagnant

and calls for a sharp cut in public transport fares to reduce costs, fossil fuel use and pollution. 

He contrasts the miserable experience of the UK with “the biggest increase to rail fares in nine years, ..set to go up further” – at a time when people won’t be able to afford to run their cars even if they want to – with imaginative and successful action to cut fares across Europe..

  • In May Germany set up a €9 a month ticket for unlimited public transport over the summer. This has been… a huge success. Over 31 million tickets were sold and passenger numbers reached up to pre-pandemic levels, increasing rail travel and decreasing road use…The €9 ticket is a fraction of the normal cost of travel, amounting to around a sixth of the price of the cheapest monthly ticket available for Berlin’s central zones”.

  • Austria launched its Klimaticket (climate ticket) in late 2021… to encourage people to ditch their cars, the scheme proved extremely popular, with its website almost crashing when the tickets went on sale. The annual pass, priced at €1,095, works out at just €21 a week or €3 a day.

  • In July, Spain announced it will make public transport free, by reinvesting the funds from a windfall tax on energy companies. From September until the end of the year, passengers can ride commuter and medium-distance trains across the country totally free of charge.

  • Luxembourg was the first country in Europe to make public transport free in 2020 and despite the pandemic is happy with the results. As well as off-setting price rises for working people, the move was also designed to reduce car congestion, as Luxembourg has more cars per person than any other country in Europe and is consequently plagued by heavy traffic. It is expected that public transport usage in Luxembourg will have increased by 20 percent by 2025.

The British model – that prioritises the profitability of private operators over the needs of travellers and climate – is unsustainable, both in costs for commuters and impact on carbon emissions. This also applies to buses. As Cortes says, 

Investing in our public transport is part of the solution to the problem, we are already in a crisis and we must act now. Making travel affordable is proven to take people out of their cars and onto greener, more efficient public transport. What are we waiting for?

Slashing public transport fares has to be a key demand in our fight over our cost of living this winter. Let’s make sure all our unions and campaigns take it up!

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author.

The Fine Print I:

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) unless otherwise indicated and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s, nor should it be assumed that any of these authors automatically support the IWW or endorse any of its positions.

Further: the inclusion of a link on our site (other than the link to the main IWW site) does not imply endorsement by or an alliance with the IWW. These sites have been chosen by our members due to their perceived relevance to the IWW EUC and are included here for informational purposes only. If you have any suggestions or comments on any of the links included (or not included) above, please contact us.

The Fine Print II:

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc.

It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.