I wrote this item for an on-line debate on Helium.com
If we can agree that government has some role to play in our lives, then let's at least make it a positive one.
Consider the benefits of free, fully-subsidized public transportation: first, it will motivate more people to leave their cars at home. Think of the reduction in pollution and traffic congestion and insurance costs due to accidents. Greener cities, safer cities, more livable cities. More room for parks and trees. Think of the money we'll all save by consuming less gas, spending less frequently on car repairs, and so on. That money will stay in our wallets and we could then turn around and give the economy a boost by spending it on other consumer goods or services. More jobs.
Secondly, we must consider the health benefits. We'll all walk a little more. This will reduce visits to doctors' offices and hospitals because we'll be healthier. We'll have improved blood pressure, lower stress and possibly a better complexion.
In addition, free transportation will encourage us to enjoy the company of our friends and family. It will become much more feasible to safely drink another glass of wine at the restaurant or have that extra beer at the family gathering. We'll avoid the worry of getting behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol level that's above the legal limit. Fewer accidents, fewer tragedies, lower costs of policing and reduced court backlogs. The increased public expense in transportation should pay off in the form of reduced health care costs and a safer society.
Then think about some of the other social benefits: imagine how much we'll learn from each other when we share rides instead of sitting in isolation in our cars. Talking to the neighbors might come back into fashion. More people will meet and talk and maybe even help each other. What a concept!
Having someone else drive us will also give us more time for reading books and newspapers. We'll be more informed and perhaps make better decisions come election time.
So.. park your car and use it for your dream vacation.
No more fumbling for change...just hop on and off the streetcar or bus wherever and whenever you like. What a great idea, especially for those who live in congested, polluted cities. It will renew life on our streets.
So I can't agree more with this proposition. Let's go for it!