Ecosocialism and the fight for free public transit
Date Written: 2012-12-04
Publisher: Climate & Capitalism
Year Published: 2012
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20445
Mass transportation is intimately tied not only to the physical form of cities, but to the deeper social structures of imperial capitalism. A campaign for free public transit can be an important part of a broader fight to restructure society along ecosocialist lines.
In principle, free transit advocacy can also be an element in a broader vision to reorganize urban life and restructure the social order along red (working class-based, working toward socialism) and green (environmental) lines. This requires working through a host of open questions that go far beyond lowering the cost of fares. These include:
* How can a free and expanded transit system be financed?
* Can free transit be part and parcel of a green jobs strategy against austerity?
* Is free transit a potential weapon against global climate injustice?
* How can transit workers and transit users become allies to push for free transit?
* What additional measures might be necessary for free transit to have a deep and lasting impact on our car-dominated transportation system?
* How do we think of free transit not simply as a more effective, just and sustainable form of mobility, but an element in a way of life where mobility is not imposed but subject to democratic decision-making?
* Can we expand public transit without promoting real estate speculation or making transit-connected neighbourhoods off limits to many?
* And finally, can we organize free transit networks as generous public spaces that do not exclude and discriminate on the basis of race, class, gender or sexuality?