Sunday, September 12, 2010

Further Abstract: The Economic Benefits of Free Public Transport

By Raphie de Santos

“Most of the arguments for free public transport (FPT) focus on the environmental benefits and the enrichment of people’s lives by allowing them to travel no matter their financial situation. However, it brings many economic benefits to wider society. For example, with vehicle traffic set to rise by 50% over the next 25 years and a corresponding doubling of the time commuters loose because of congestion, FPT would greatly reduce this lost time. The lost time that could be put to more socially useful purposes is just part of the gains of FPT. Being caught in commuting traffic also creates the wrong frame of mind to tackle future tasks for the day – the multiple problems created by traffic chaos can be measured by the car commuter pain index in which London just ranks behind Madrid and Sao Paulo. FPT would greatly reduce this pain.

The design, administration, construction, maintenance, running, assembly, commissioning and servicing of a FPT system would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships for our young and old. By putting these people to work there would be huge savings in welfare benefits while tax revenues would increase. They would boost the economy not only from the building and running of the FPT system but their own personalexpenditure in the wider economy”.

Raphie De Santos, Financial Analyst and member of the Scottish Socialist Party
Raphie was head of Equity Derivatives Research and Strategy at Goldman Sachs International. He was an advisor on derivatives and financial markets to the Bank of England, London Stock Exchange, London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange and the Italian Ministry of Finance.

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