Taxpayers' €550 per passenger rail line bill
Published 15/11/2016 | 02:30
A single route on the country's rail network is costing the taxpayer €550 per passenger, ministers will be told today.
The extraordinary cost to operate the loss-making Limerick-Ballybrophy line is revealed in a memo being brought to Cabinet by Transport Minister Shane Ross.
It compares to the 90c it costs per Dart passenger through the Government's subvention to trouble-hit Irish Rail.
In 2012, Irish Rail added four daily services - at a cost of almost €20,000 per day - to the route, which serves the Tipperary constituency of the then Transport Minister Alan Kelly.
At the same time, just 73 people a day used the line, generating a paltry €753 a day in fares.
But it seems likely Mr Ross, an Independent Alliance minister, will close the route in order to save further taxpayer money from being squandered.
According to the memo, seen by the Irish Independent, Irish Rail's body finances are deteriorating. It suggests the taxpayer may foot the bill to deal with a black hole in the finances of the semi-State body.
The memo is coming to Cabinet on the back of a review into Irish Rail's finances.