Wishful thinking: ‘the imagining or discussion of a very unlikely future event or situation as if it were possible and might one day happen,’ according to the Cambridge dictionary.
In my opinion, which no-one has asked for, this sums up the decision of the Monaco Government to offer free bus travel for eight weeks, starting last weekend.
The hope is that car traffic will fall by up to 20 percent. Well, that would be wonderful but it ain’t going to happen.
Millionaires and billionaires are not very much bothered by paying or not paying less than one euro for a bus ticket, or even 1.50. So making the buses free is going to have close to zero impact on the yummy mummies taking Chloe and Sasha 300 metres to ballet classes. Their Discoveries seem not to include the realisation that by taking the bus we will all breathe less toxic air – Chloe and Sasha included.
Taking matters one step further, road pricing like the Congestion Charge in London just isn’t going to work in a city state where money has a different value.
I hate to say it, as a sworn opponent of direct taxation and the nanny state, but what is needed is compulsion.
There is no need for residents to use a car. The freed-up roads could be used by an expanded fleet of electric buses, and maybe minibuses, too.
Of course, there would have to be exceptions, including fire engines, ambulances, all-electric taxis, the police and NEWS.MC journalists.
In this day and age high-tech solutions could prohibit the use of private cars, except, for example, to leave town to get to the villa or ski station in France or Italy.
In the meantime, isn’t it a shame that no-one thought about putting a sign in English at the bus stops saying all Monaco buses are free? Not everyone speaks French, especially not the yummy mummies.
Any views or opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. Monte-Carlo Diary is published in the interests of editorial diversity.