Free public transport better for climate and inequality

The Green Party is on board with the extension of half-price public transport, but once again calls on the Government to go further and make public transport free - for good.

“We can respond to the climate and inequality crises together by prioritising investment in transport that reduces carbon emissions. We can make public transport free and invest in clean, electric buses, trains and ferries,” said Julie Anne Genter, Green Party spokesperson for transport.

“Subsiding fossil fuels by making petrol and diesel a little cheaper for half a year doesn’t make sense in 2022, when we need to make the transition to cleaner transport.

“There are better ways to help families struggling short term with the high cost of living. Direct payments would mean people could choose how to spend it, including on petrol - but would still enable incentives to shift to green options for those who have them.

“We also need a medium and long term plan to invest in green transport - like ordering the trains needed for regional rail services in the Lower North Island. The Green Party calls on the Government to enable funding for this essential work so people can have more options to get around that don’t rely on fossil fuels.

“Future-proofing our transport system to make it less reliant on oil will both reduce the pain of future oil price shocks and reduce dangerous, climate-heating pollution. 

“This is the second time the Government has extended the short-term subsidy to fossil fuels, when they could have invested in public transport and regional rail.  Nearly 14,000 people have joined the Green Party’s call for free public transport - and we urge the Government to listen,” says Julie Anne Genter. 

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