Monday 27 March 2017

Some public transport passengers facing hikes of up to 18pc as further industrial action looms

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

ONE in four passengers will be hit with increases in their public transport fares next year as the threat of industrial action looms.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has this afternoon announced fares for Luas, Irish Rail, Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus services for 2017, and some commuters in Dublin can expect hikes of up to 18pc.

This is because the NTA has completed a restructuring of the fares system which means that commuters will pay based on the distance travelled.

This will result in winners and losers, but the NTA said the vast bulk of passengers – three in every four –will see a fall or no change in their commuting bills.

Some 230 million passenger journeys are made on the public transport network every year.

The changes come after commuters were hit with a series of rolling strikes earlier this year by Luas and Dublin Bus workers.

Staff at Irish Rail and Bus Eireann have also submitted pay claims, and further industrial action is possible.

The main changes involve the railway Dublin Short Hop Zone (SHZ) which will result in passengers travelling from Sallins/Naas and Kilcock in Kildare into the capital enjoying far lower fares.

This is because their local station has been included in the SHZ, resulting in cheaper journey costs.

Of 1,200 ‘origin destinations’ – or point to point movements – fares will fall between 16pc and 18pc, and in some cases even more, in 262 of these ODs. 36 will go up between 16pc and 18pc. The remainder are unchanged.

For example: An adult single Dart trip between Bayside to Clontarf Road currently costs €2.46 if paying with Leap, and €3.25 with cash. It falls to €1.73 and €2.20.

Conversely, an adult single Dart trip between Raheny and Bray currently costs €3.56 if paying by Leap, and €4.60 in cash. This increases to €4.69 and €5.90.

The NTA is responsible for setting fares and the companies are allowed to implement the hikes from December 1 next.

Since 2011, most fares have risen year-on-year. The NTA said the public transport companies would see fare revenues rise by less than 1pc next year as a result of the changes.

The main points are:

·         A move to charging based on distance travelled in the SHZ will result in fare increases of up to 18pc for some, but they will be reduced by 18pc for others. The NTA said more passengers would see reductions rather than increases.

·         Commuters travelling from Sallins/Naas and Kilcock in Kildare will enjoy fares almost 50pc lower because both stations have been included in the Dubin short hop zone (SHZ).

·         An adult single journey from Heuston station to Sallins/Naas station which currently costs €8.70 will fall to €4.60 cash or €3.56 Leap.

·         Fares paid using the Leap card will be at least 20pc cheaper than paying in cash.

The fares are set with the aim of maintaining customer support and passenger numbers while ensuring financial stability for the operators, the NTA said.

“This year’s fare determination has taken the opportunity to adjust fares to move closer to achieving the authority’s fares policy such as discount of approximately 30pc for students, and 50pc for children,” it said.

“It is also the view of the authority that annual fares should be approximately equivalent to ten times a monthly fare.”

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, added: “Today we are taking a significant step towards making our public transport fare structure simpler, more streamlined and more consistent.

 “We believe that the prices people pay should accurately reflect the length of the journeys they’re making.

“We’re also endeavoring to cut back on the wide array of different fare types, stages and products, so that cost of travel is easier to understand for the passenger.”

She said the Leap card was used to pay for 3.5 million journeys every week, and the NTA wanted to incentivise passengers to use the system by maintaining a “substantial price differential” between Leap and cash.

“Leap will always be at least 20pc cheaper than cash for a single journey,” Ms Graham added.

ENDS

 

SUMMARY of CHANGES

 

DUBLIN BUS

·         Schoolchild Leap – up 2 cent

·         Pre-paid Rambler tickets – increases between 2.7pc and 2.9pc

·         Multi-operator monthly and annual tickets – up between 1.9pc and 2.3pc         

·         Adult cash and Leap - no change

·         Regular child cash and Leap - no change

·         Schoolchild cash - no change

·         City centre Leap and cash - no change

·         Dublin Bus only monthly and annual tickets – no change.

 

IARNROD ÉIREANN

·         Sallins/Naas and Kilcock stations to relocate from intercity zone into the Dublin Short Hop Zone resulting in savings for commuters of almost 50pc.

·         No change to Intercity single and return fares

·         Intercity adult and child weekly up 2pc

·         SHZ and intercity Taxsaver fares to increase by 4pc

·         Cork commuter fares up 1.5pc to 2pc, except for top zone which is unchanged

·         Changes to ODs (Origin –Destinations) zones for 262 ODs out of 1,200 in Dublin SHZ to reflect distance-based pricing. Some changes will increase between 16pc and 18pc, and some will fall by 16pc to 18pc.

·         No increase in basic SHZ fares except three individual all-zone fares

·         Multi-operator monthly and annual tickets up 2pc.

 

BUS ÉIREANN

All single stage carriage fares kept at current rates, and all child and student stage carriage fares. Increases in cash fares in regional cities are offset by steeper discounts on Leap, so little or no change to Leap fares. A number of fares have been adjusted both up and down by 5pc or less.

 

Regional cities & towns

·         Cash fare up 10 cent adult, and five cent child. No increase in Leap fare.

·         One-day, Seven-day, monthly and annual changes from drops of up to 5.9pc to hikes of 2.8pc.

 

Stage Carriage

·         No increase in adult, child or student single cash or Leap fares

·         Adult returns up between 1.1pc and 4.9pc

·         No increase in child or student returns. Some decreases of up to 4.3pc

·         Adult 10 Journey changes – falls of 5pc and increases of 4.9pc.

·         No increase in child or student 10 Journey fares. Some drops of up to 5.1pc.

·         Adult monthly taxsaver changes – falls of up to 7.4pc, and increases of 2pc.

·         Adult annual ticket reduces by up to 9.4pc.

 

LUAS

·         Monthly and annual fares increased for the first time since January 2013.

·         Merging of fares in zone 3 and zone 4, resulting in changes from -4.2pc to + 7.4pc.

·         Adult prepaid 1-day, 7-day and 30-day changes from -4.2pc to + 6.3pc

·         Student pre-paid – falls of up to 3.8pc, and rises of up to 5.9pc.

·         Adult single cash fares – up 20 cent dearer

·         Adult Leap fares – Up to nine cent more expensive

·         Adult return – up to 20 cent more expensive

·         Child return –up 10 cent

·         Adult monthly and annual taxsaver fares – up 9.9pc.

·         Child prepaid – up to 3.6pc dearer

·         Irish Rail add-on fares – up as much as 5.2pc.

·         Child single cash or Leap – no change

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