The last stop for public transport
NEW figures reveal that the number of passengers using the three CIE public transport entities -- Iarnrod Eireann, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann -- fell last year by a whopping 25 million, or 11pc. Iarnrod Eireann blames the recession: "People just aren't travelling as much any more."
Undoubtedly true. And satisfyingly simple. But hardly a complete explanation; and it takes no account of the numerous acute problems that beset public transport in Ireland.
Again and again, radical solutions have been proposed. Fine Gael's transport spokesman, Fergus O'Dowd, wants fares cut to encourage demand. Privatisation, especially of Dublin Bus services, has been mooted again and again over many years. It has never reached the blueprint stage.