Monday 23 October 2017

Bus Éireann strike could mean end of the road for broken-down transport system

Ray Hernan, (second left) acting ceo of Bus Éireann, and officials arrive at an Oireachtas Transport Committee meeting at Leinster House. Photo: Tom Burke
Ray Hernan, (second left) acting ceo of Bus Éireann, and officials arrive at an Oireachtas Transport Committee meeting at Leinster House. Photo: Tom Burke
Richard Curran

Richard Curran

As the country faces the possibility of the worst public transport dispute in many years, we have to seriously ask, what has gone wrong? The narrative of the industrial relations blame game goes something like this.

Bus Éireann management says it has to cut costs or it will run out of money. Unions say the State bus operator is under-funded by the State, and has competitive disadvantages compared to its private-sector competitors on commercial routes.

The simple truth is the corporate model of public transport is broken and needs to be addressed. It is a result of at least two decades of failed public policy, as politicians persisted with a model that works for them but not for anybody else.

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