Ecosocialism and the fight for free public transit

Kipfer, Stefan
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?

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