TRANSPORT officials have refused to rule out the prospect of a further wave of privatisation involving the country's bus services.
There is major concern that the move will lead to increased fares for customers, while unions say the plan is "flawed".
The National Transport Authority (NTA) yesterday strongly defended the move to privatise a raft of bus routes, the majority of which are in Dublin and Waterford.
NTA chief executive Gerry Murphy told an Oireachtas Committee that all savings from the process would be injected back into bus services.
While Mr Murphy said that there was no immediate "ambitions" to increase the number of routes that are privatised, he indicated that further privatisation may have to be looked at.
It was confirmed that Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann can compete for the contract when the tendering process begins in December.