No such thing as a free bus trip



Matthew Bowles writes for CapX

In the Media

IEA research referenced in Tech Monitor

Len Shackleton writes in City AM

IEA Editorial and Research Fellow Professor Len Shackleton has written in a City AM debate opposing the idea of fare-free public transport in London.

Len wrote:

“To make travel free we’d need to replace about £5.5bn annual fare revenue. If that all came from Londoners, it would cost each household about £1,500 – whether they use public transport or not. Many do not, through choice, inconvenience, age or infirmity.

“Without fares we have little indication of the real strength of demand. People could hop onto buses for short journeys when they could walk, which is fine for them, but swells the number of buses needed even if the value of short hops is trivial. And people will take tubes when they could cycle. With artificially hiked demand, there will be a constant political battle for greater subsidies from local and central government,”

Read the full piece here or on page 11 of City AM (11/01/2024).