The supporters of Livingstone who are hopping and shouting about Boris’ Oyster Card proposals are missing the point.
“But Oyster cards can already be taken off misbehaving young people” they cry. The simple fact is that while violent, antisocial and intimidating behaviour has become commonplace on buses yet hardly any free travel passes have been revoked. If the current plan is working, I wouldn’t hear complaints about “out of control youngster on the buses” almost every time I ask about people’s concerns.
Boris’ plan is to take a much firmer line on bad behaviour but then give the young people a chance to earn their cards back again. I like this plan, it reinforces the idea that the card is a privilege, not a right and it introduces the notion of social responsibility.
He has also called for CCTV on the worst routes and a greater uniformed presence on the buses, Livingstone has not only failed to match that commitment but we see his supporters attacking the plans because of all things, cost!
They claim that the extra cost of conductors would put the ticket price up. Perhaps we could just cut some of the £100 million a year that TFL pays to consultants. “Fewer Consultants – More Conductors”, sounds like a good election slogan.