Public transport fees are ever on the rise and with life returning to normality, people are beginning to think twice about the way they chose to get to their next destination. On the first of March, transport fees were raised by around 2.6%, and regular commuters will be aware that TfL have raised costs by an extra 5p many times before. 


Transport is undeniably essential in all countries; developed, developing or undeveloped. It helps to connect people to city centres, places where tertiary sector jobs, with higher pay, are predominantly found. Public transport enables people to live outside of the city, possibly somewhere with greener spaces or cheaper rent – it gives people options. But free public transport would do more for the British public than just providing options. It would greatly benefit those on low income by giving them options to spend travel fares elsewhere. It’s an idea that encourages being eco-friendly – something all too valuable in today’s world.


So far, the only place in the world where you can find public transport free country-wide is Luxembourg. This includes trains, trams, buses - the lot. First class travel is the only chargeable option when it comes to public transport, indicating there’s still ways for organisations or privatised companies, such as TfL, to earn income.


More and more, society is becoming aware of an issue that lingers above us: climate change. It is now a well-known fact that driving releases pollutants into the atmosphere. Indeed, by making public transport free, people are far more likely to take the train over the car because it spares the expense of petrol, is better for the environment and is most commonly faster. Less cars on the road means less traffic; less traffic means less cars are sat around burning fossil fuels. Eventually, the price of petrol would decrease, as would the country’s demand for buying oil in the first place.


However, though this sounds like an obvious change – it is most unlikely. The government profit from gas sales and they profit from car taxes, low emission zone taxations, they have good (and relatively stable) relationships with countries supplying oil. These are all things that are unfortunately unlikely to be sacrificed for the benefits of free public transport and the wider public.


I spoke to long time commuter Mike Richardson, to see what he thinks. “After lockdown, I have no doubts that the city {London} won’t be as busy. Free public transport might actually encourage people to return to the office… if they have the option of working from home, commuters would rather not spend large amounts on travel.”


I personally would question why the government invests in bike lanes and electric car grants, methods arguably much less accessible, as opposed to buying back public transport - making it free and easy to use.