Wednesday 18 October 2017

Passengers stand to benefit from opening up bus routes

Bus Eireann
Bus Eireann

Sean Barrett

the National Transport Authority tendering scheme for bus routes is not radical. It is more likely to be positive than negative in its impact. The bus is the workhorse of public transport. It needs a legislative environment in which it can grow. It needs to recover the 51 million passenger journeys lost over the years 2007 to 2012 inclusive.

Restrictive licensing of bus services dates from 1932. Railway shareholders achieved regulatory capture over the transport authorities. They achieved their goal of restricting new entrants while protecting the incumbents.

Transport was under the aegis of the Department of Industry and Commerce at the time. In the economics of the 1930s, policy set out to restrict independent bus services and reduced their number by almost 1,100 routes.

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