Sanctus – Greens Leader Josephine Chari-Jones said today if the Greens enter government after the election, she will seek to make public transport – that is, buses, trains, and trams – free and accessible for all across Sanctaria. Citing the need to reduce dependency on cars, Chari-Jones also pointed to the high levels of fare evasion in large cities like Sanctus, Corpus, and Haven suggesting people want to use public transport, but simply cannot always afford it.
Chari-Jones said that the Green Party would introduce new taxes on private vehicles, and would increase fuel levies at the pumps to pay for the initiative in the short term. She said that medium to long term, she would hope governments would use windfall taxes on companies earning huge profits to finance the program. The Green Party MP said that she would also seek out public-private partnerships to ensure the strain on the public purse wasn’t too significant.
Free public transport would also have additional benefits, Chari-Jones claimed, such as ensuring women and vulnerable people would be able to get home “late at night, when they’re short on cash, instead of relying on potentially unlicensed taxis, or worse, walking home in the dark”. She said that ensuring existing public transport is retrofitted for disabled passengers, and that all new vehicles come with accomodations already in place would be a priority for her. “We wanted disabled residents to be able to get around their towns and cities for free, yes, but also independently and without barriers”.
Rural lobby groups have criticised the proposal saying the Green Party was “too urban centric” and would be “asking farmers and rural residents to pay for cappuccino-drinking socialites in the cities to get from avocado shop to avocado shop” and said the proposed levies on fuel and on private vehicles would hit rural communities the most.
AHMED PATEL, Political Correspondent