Free Public Transport for everyone, not just elites

The Scottish Socialist Party is calling for free public transport to be extended to everyone in Scotland to cut emissions and reduce poverty.

The SSP is on the streets of Glasgow during COP26, arguing for a Socialist Green New Deal that tackles pollution and poverty together.

Radical plans include taking busses, train services, railway infrastructure, underground rail, ferries, and trams into democratic public ownership; extending accessible, free public transport to everyone in Scotland with a one-ticket-serves-all system; greatly improved pay and conditions for transport workers; and creating new, well-paid, unionised jobs in manufacturing and infrastructure in Scotland.

COP26 delegates have the benefit of “Oyster-like” smartcards in Glasgow, giving them free public transport for the duration of the conference.

The move is an admission that Scotland’s fragmented, privatised, for-profit system of public transport is not fit for purpose – but creates a two-tier COP in a two-tier Glasgow. Instead of special privileges for elites, we need free public transport for all.

Travel and transport account for the majority of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions – and travel is still expensive and difficult. If Scotland is serious about its climate commitments, it needs a public transport system fit for the 21st century.

Despite this, ScotRail is cutting 300 train services, and popular Daytripper tickets in Strathclyde have been axed before COP26. This puts more cars back on the road and deepens inequality in Scotland.

Travelers face sky-high fares and low-quality transport services across Scotland, which greatly impacts low-paid and precarious workers, the unemployed, and disabled people. Poor provision hits the poor hardest, diminishing choices, restricting access to essential services, increasing social isolation, and reducing job opportunities.

A lack of accessible, affordable transport costs economic opportunities and makes inequality worse. Free public transport means access to jobs, to public services, and to improved economic activity across Scotland. Free public transport is a net economic benefit to Scotland.

Expanded services and free public transport will provide safer travel for workers on late-night shifts, such as those in hospitality, who are often dumped on streets by employers without guaranteed transport home.

The Scottish Socialist Party supports RMT members on the Caledonian Sleeper who are taking strike action for better pay – this is a fight that won’t be forgotten during COP26. The Caledonian Sleeper is a public service that could provide an alternative to short-distance flights. Serco has received millions from the Scottish Government to prop up their profits – it’s time they gave workers a proper pay rise.

Winning a Socialist Green New Deal: Monday 8 November 2021

The Scottish Socialist Party is bringing the case for a Socialist Green New Deal to COP26.

Join our free public meeting at Community Central Hall, Maryhill, at 7pm Monday 8 November to hear from Trade Union organisers – including BFAWU General Secretary Sarah Wooley, RMT Regional Organiser Mick Hogg, and the Glasgow GMB’s Chris Mitchell – why we need a Socialist Green New Deal.

Click HERE to register today

As capitalist polluters and the governments who prop them up gather at COP26 to discuss climate change – like criminals returning to the scene of their crimes – workers are fighting back.

Railway workers are campaigning against savage cuts to the service – which would totally undermine building clean, green transport to cut car pollution.

Workers in the cleansing service and schools are amongst those fighting against cuts to their real pay, the services they provide, and against the filthy state the host city is in, after years of underfunding.

We need to build solidarity with those in struggle – and link that to the urgent need for measures to combat both poverty and pollution.

This meeting will hear the case for a worker-led transition from fossil fuels to green energy – with no loss of jobs or conditions; the need to retrofit every home, and build 100,000 new eco-houses for rent; the case for free public transport to combat pollution, poverty and social isolation; and other measures that would help achieve socialist change to combat climate change.

As well as workers and young people on the front line, and an SSP speaker, we are delighted to have the General Secretary of the Bakers Union (BFAWU) SARAH WOOLLEY, RMT Regional Organiser MICK HOGG, and CHRIS MITCHELL from the GMB Trade Union.

Click HERE to register today