90% for 90%

Get the Card - Show the Guard

A call for a 90% cut in public transport fares to make public transport affordable, to start making changes that bring a 90% cut in greenhouse gases.

Are you sick of over-inflated public transport prices while the number of children with asthma rockets and floodwaters rise?

Public transport is neither affordable nor a high quality service - for passengers or for workers. Meanwhile, scientists say that to combat extreme weather events happening as a result of climate change we have to cut greenhouse gases (the gases that contribute to climate change) by up to 90%.

Road travel is one of the fastest growing sources of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. Getting people off roads and onto a decent and affordable public transport system is more than another public spending "nice idea" - it's essential for survival.

"90% for 90%" is a call for a public transport system run in the interests of passengers and workers, not profit, and available to all, regardless of income. Carrying a "90% for 90%" card, those who support the call will ask public transport workers and other passengers to join in. Some "90%ers" refuse to pay more than 10%; some show the card in support of the call; some leaflet other passengers.

Blackpool Trip

In March, a group of Manchester "90%ers" fancied a trip to the seaside. Carrying our "90% for 90%" cards and a stack of leaflets we boarded the train. Here's what happened:

As it pulled out, two of us went to speak to the guard and turned his understanding of reality temporarily on its head. We explained that the railways were in a right state, and asked what the guard thought about public transport, and explained we were no longer happy sitting there moaning, waiting for someone else to do something, anything. That was where "90% for 90%" came in: we've had enough. As passengers we were going to pay what we thought was a fair price and we were going to talk to the railway workers about why we were doing it, and about how things could be better.

The response from passengers was great - wishing that they hadn't bought their ticket already, taking 90% cards for future use. On the return journey, one guy used his on the spot as he hadn't bought a ticket and the guard nodded and walked on. The passenger was over the moon!

We had a great day out - went on a rollercoaster, had chips on the pier and everything. Who said politics and pleasure don't mix?

Rising Tide (0161 226 6814, climatechaos@yahoo.com)

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© Networking Newsletter (Sept 2003)