In the municipal elections in 2019, several of the country’s larger cities were haunted by the party “Folkeaksjonen No to more tolls”. At the next municipal election, we may see the party «Free public transport».
This is a comment. It expresses the writer’s analyzes and opinions.
We are writing 2023. There are two weeks left until the municipal election. In Oslo, the newly started party “Free public transport” has made a dent in the polls and has risen to 14 percent.
The party steals votes from all other parties, and the leader – a young charismatic woman from the inner east – crushes everything and everyone in the debates she takes part in.
“Everyone who buys an electric car is exempt from VAT. We who travel by public transport must pay 12 percent. This policy punishes those who have little and rewards those who have much. In addition, electric cars also destroy the environment, both in production and in use. “
The traditional parties do not know how to respond. Even the toll party has problems scolding people who do not have the ticket for not driving.
The Labor Party and the Conservative Party say they “will look at the tariff level” if they win, SV and Rødt promise free public transport to all students and pupils, FRP says it is the Labor Party’s fault that the tariffs are so high and the Green Party says nothing. They promised lower tariffs, but could not help but raise the tolls.
Good reasons to protest
It is not certain that we will get such a party, but the development has gone the wrong way. Prices for public transport in the period 2010 to 2020 increased more than the general rise in prices.
In addition, the state has ensured that cars and especially electric cars come out incredibly well. If you currently drive an electric car from Oslo to Lillehammer, it costs 36 kroner in tolls. Even with sky-high electricity prices, there will be no more than NOK 200 in electricity.
The train costs – a little depending on when you want to go – between 400 and 500 kroner per. adult ticket. If there are four of you in the car, the difference will easily be 1500 kroner.
Public transport in the big cities in Norway is largely subsidized (in some cities by 30 per cent, in others by 70 per cent). If it were to be run completely without support, it would be so expensive that few would have taken it. Then the private car had been preferred.
It would provide traffic chaos and low efficiency. Anyone who has visited major cities in developing countries knows what that means. A bus takes away for 45 private cars.
In other words, public transport is, in essence, a good example of how what is economically unprofitable can be socio-economically profitable.