MASSIVE increases in the cost of public transport will take money out of the economy, it has been claimed.
The Consumers' Association of Ireland has said that hikes in the cost of bus, rail and Luas tickets will have knock-on effects.
Dermott Jewell CEO, of the association, said that there was no doubt that the hikes would mean less money being spent in the economy.
"The reality of life is that consumers have already cut back as much as they can," he said.
And the significant increases, which will be implemented on a staggered basis between November and December, include hikes for pre-paid tickets and Leap cards.
The average cash fares for commuters on Dublin Bus and the Dart will increase by more than 8pc from December 1, the NTA revealed.
Annual and monthly ticket prices for these services will increase by 10pc from November 1.
While the price of Leap card fares is set to rise, the increase will be less severe with fares on Irish Rail and Dublin Bus set to increase by 2.7pc from December.
"There is no doubt but that this will have anything but a negative effect on people's budgets. This is on top of all the cuts that have already come," Mr Jewell said.
"It also comes after we've already had a seventh austerity Budget in a row.
"People are also now dealing with a reduction in the levels of service that are being provided yet consumers now have to pay more," he added.
The NTA has continued with its policy of encouraging travellers to switch from cash and has said the Leap card is "significantly cheaper".
Falling passenger numbers, increasing fuel costs and a "challenging environment" have been blamed for the hikes.
The companies run by CIE will face a €17m subsidy cut next year. They need to "stabilise their financial situation reasonably quickly to minimise service cuts," NTA chief Gerry Murphy said.
The biggest cash increase will come across the Irish Rail short hop zones and the Dublin Bus over 13 stages fare. Both will increase from €2.80 to €3.05.
The hikes are even more pronounced when compared with fares just three years ago.