Democratise SL

This summer both climate and public transport are in crisis.

Forest fires, floodings, record heat, droughts and water shortages show how climate change is impacting us here and now. The public transport crisis is equally evident. The commuter trains are constantly cancelled, maintainance is neglected and the information to travellers is non-existent. The working conditions for staff are getting worse steadily and with every new public procurement. The train guards are being removed and traffic safety is compromised while there is always money for more security guards and ticket inspections. Public transport is getting worse and worse for both staff and travellers, yet we are threatened with higher fees, cutbacks and cancelled busslines.

It does not have to be this way.

In order to reduce emissions and transition to a sustainable, fair and more vibrant city we need cheaper and better public transport to replace highways and car dependency. Instead of more security guards and increased repression we could keep the train guards and invest in more staff and traffic safety. Instead of expensive fees public transport could be tax funded and free.

But politicians and markets are not solving the problems.

Today politicians sell public transport to private profit interests on a fake market where corporations are competing with cutbacks and poor working conditions. Busses are put in competition with the metro and profitability rules over societal needs. Politicians sell our mobility in the city to private corporations and foreign states and then subsidise their penalty fees when they breach their contracts. It is just like the privatisations of schools and healthcare. A few are enriched at the expense of our common welfare.

That is why we need to democratise SL.

A first step is to bring back public transport under public control, but letting the politicians be in charge is not enough. Instead those who are affected the most – staff and travellers – should have the biggest say. That is the only way we will get sustainable, safe and just public transport.

– Allt åt alla Stockholm