Sylvi Listhaug, leader of the Progressive Party (Frp), does not believe the explanation by Kari Nessa Nordtun (AP), mayor of Stavanger, of why the city now offers free public transport.

We have received more money than we had budgeted for, and we have good financial management in our municipality, which results in us being left with a surplus that we want to give back to our citizens in the best possible way, said the mayor in “The Debate” on NRK.

The Labor Party, Folkets Party, MDG, Rødt, Center Party and SV have all agreed that Stavanger, as the first large Norwegian city, will fully finance public transport on behalf of its own residents, writes Nettavisen.

Sylvi Listhaug, on the other hand, believes that this has to do with the upcoming local elections.

I think most people watching now can agree that this is pure election fraud. Elections were held here four years ago and now this proposal has also been submitted a few months before the elections. I don’t think the voters will be fooled so easily, she said.

Listhaug clarified that public transport is a county municipal task.

I am sure that there are many people watching the program now who do not get the services they deserve in Stavanger, for which the municipality is actually responsible. Whether it’s nursing home places, care for the elderly, schools, or other places where resources are actually needed.

However, the Stavanger mayor believes that the measure is both to equalise differences and reduce climate impact.

It is important that we as local politicians do everything we can to help people in the situation we now find ourselves in, where everything is becoming more expensive. There are many people who depend on travelling by bus and we see that it is those with lower finances who make use of the bus service in Stavanger.

Sissel Knutsen Hegdal, mayoral candidate in Stavanger (H), also reacts:

It is quite special that one decides, like a bolt out of the blue, to spend so many hundreds of millions of kroner without investigating the consequences. It’s no wonder it gets national attention, she says.

Stavanger introduces “free” public transport

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