Public transport users face fare increase
Published 10/01/2011 | 05:00
COMMUTERS are facing a raft of bus and rail fare hikes after Irish Rail and Dublin Bus confirmed they were seeking permission for ticket price increases.
Dublin Bus has asked the National Transport Authority (NTA) to allow it to increase fares across city bus services.
Meanwhile, Iarnrod Eireann is expected to seek a 5pc increase in all cash fares across the DART and Dublin commuter services.
The move comes as passenger numbers fell across the CIE group of companies, with Iarnrod Eireann, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann haemorrhaging 25 million passengers last year.
Government payments to the companies have also fallen.
Dublin Bus, which accounted for two-thirds of the lost passengers, has sought permission to increase fares but a formal decision has not yet been made.
It refused to state how much it planned to increase fares by.
"A fares application has been made to the NTA for consideration but no formal response has been received from them in relation to the application as yet," a spokeswoman said.
It is understood Iarnrod Eireann will seek permission to increase fares by 5pc on rail commuter services serving the capital, but a formal application has not yet been made.
If approved, this would affect all passengers paying for single or return journeys in cash.
Weekly, monthly and annual ticket holders would not be affected.
The move is designed to encourage people to move to the new 'smart-card' system which is being rolled out. Smart card users would benefit from lower fares, a spokesman said.
Labour's transport spokesman Joe Costello said the application to increase fares was "disappointing" and came after the Government cut the state subsidy.
"It is disappointing because the public transport system is the one we should be promoting as strongly as possible.
"We need to move people out of private transport, and by increasing fares we're going in the opposite direction," he said.
The last fare increase was in January 2009, when Dublin Bus increased fares by 10 cent for an adult and 5 cent for a child.
Increases of 10pc were applied to Iarnrod Eireann and Bus Eireann services.
Neither Bus Eireann nor the Railway Procurement Agency, which runs the Luas, has applied for an increase.