We were delighted to discuss our ‘Fair Transport Pricing’ priority at our recent members policy event, featuring speakers from Transport Scotland and Austria’s VCÖ.
Our Fair Transport Pricing priority calls for Scotland to rebalance transport prices to incentivise public transport over private car use.
Within this, we focus on both traffic demand management (road pricing and other measures) and affordable public transport fares. At the event, we focused on the latter of these items as the Scottish Government continues to undertake a Fair Fares Review.
At the end of last year we published our Fair Fares report to inform the review, which recommends: prioritising tackling long standing inequalities, pursuing multimodal, integrated and standardised ticketing at an affordable price and exploring innovative funding practices.
Read the full report here.
The event featured two presentations:
- Daniel Lafferty of Transform Scotland, who provided an update on the Government’s Fair Fares Review
- Michael Schwendinger of VCÖ, who spoke about the impact and challenges of Austria’s introduction of a flat fare public transport card — the Klimaticket.
These were followed by a Q&A segment.
Michael Schwendinger of VCÖ told us about the implementation of the Klimaticket in Austria, reporting that as a result:
- 70% of rail passengers use trains more
- 56% of rail passengers use cars less
So the Klimaticket has been seen as a great success, albeit with some issues which still need to be resolve.
VCO are now moving on to arguing for a ‘mobility guarantee’ — so the availability of public transport — and perhaps this is something that Transform Scotland might also want to look at.
Daniel Lafferty of Transport Scotland reported on the damage that the pandemic had inflicted on levels of Scottish public transport use, and the challenging policy and financial framework in which the Scottish transport sector is operating.
Daniel reported on a range of interventions that had been put in place internationally, including the Klimaticket, but also across the UK.
Daniel set out the basis for the Fare Fares Review, highlighting that while the costs of car use had been falling, that the costs of public transport had been rising, and the impacts on poverty that this causes. This review will report by the end of 2023.
He also set out the timescales for the Draft Vision for Public Transport, which will begin taking views over the summer.
The slides from the event are available below.
We look forward to feeding our views into this process. It’s very clear within Transform Scotland circles that while improving the affordability of public transport is not the only measure that is necessary — action will also need to be taken on traffic demand management for there to be any prospect for the 20% traffic reduction target to be met — but it’s clear from the evidence presented by VCO that an affordable nationwide flat-fare public transport ticket must play an integral role in transforming the conditions for public transport in Scotland.