Free public transport for capital?
Sir, – Lara Marlowe’s illuminating article (“Free public transport – could it work for Dublin?”, Weekend Review, January 26th) on the global trend towards free public transport should be compulsory reading for city planners in Dublin.
Our capital city is bursting at the seams and gridlock is a daily frustration for commuters. Free public transport would cut congestion, benefit the environment and, most importantly, it would be a progressive, socially inclusive measure that would help low-paid workers and young people with little disposable incomes as a result of spiralling rents and bloated mortgages.
For those concerned that free public transport would inflict an unaffordable charge on the exchequer, it is worth noting that public transport in Dublin is already heavily subsidised. In 1999, the Government introduced the Taxsaver scheme, which incentivises people to use public transport to and from work and, in some cases, results in savings of over 50 per cent of the regular ticket price.
By going the whole way and abolishing ticket charges, the Government would help tackle air pollution and get Dublin moving more freely.
Surely this is a worthwhile investment in our capital city’s future? – Yours, etc,