Fri Sep 2nd, 2011 at 08:21:03 AM EST
Today the bus operator for the city of Lisbon (Carris) has put forward another round of "service alterations". "Service alterations" could mean a lot of things but recently for Carris it means only one thing: service cutting. Cutting on the weekend. Cutting on the hours. Cutting on the number of buses per hour. Cutting the length. Cutting a line completely. Sorry, I lie, there is one thing that increased: prices. Average of 15% on the 1st of August. Courtesy of the Troika agreement (made with a so-called labour government - now changed to hard-conservative).
It also seems that the Troika (EU/ECB/IMF) agreement includes provisions to cut the railways in around 800 KM. Which is massive for this small country. In fact it is akin to the Thatcher-like cuts in the 80/90s (at that time made in the name of "progress" and private transportation). [Part of the railway service is also going to be privatised, but that is not my point here].
The only way to replace the rail cuts will be either by bus or car.
The bus cuts can be replaced by biking or by car. Anyway I suspect that part of it will be replaced by something else: unemployment making some of the travelling void. In practice it will probably be less travelling + more car.
These measures will most probably increase the reliance on private transportation.
Now... in terms of economic and energetic efficiency, what do you think it will be the outcome of going from bus/rail to car based transportation?
This is akin of cutting the muscle to treat morbid obesity.
This kind of neo-liberal austerity (cutting on everything "public", "common") will accelerate the road to abyss.
Side comment 1
This is not (just) to bicker on the externally imposed conditions. Indeed we brought this predicament to ourselves. Collapse is assured by the sum of external pressure, political stupidity, neo-liberal ideology and a populace with unrealistic (self-centered, hedonistic, selfish) expectations.
Side comment 2
Part of the objectives of the neo-liberal elite (e.g. there will be a cut of 10% on next year's NHS expense) is, by destroying public provision to "convince" people that private is better. This will backfire stupendously as unemployed/bankrupt people cannot pay for private services at all. This will not lead to the growth of the private sector, it will lead to simple demand destruction. This is already happening: lots of kids on private (for pay) schools are changing to public schools because the parents are becoming unemployed or have pay cuts.
This is not evilness. This is not stupidity. This is both combined.