Thursday 18 January 2018

Rail users face 13pc hike in fares

Iarnrod Eireann launches new Intercity Fleet in Heuston Station. Picture Nick Bradshaw/Jason Clarke Photography
Iarnrod Eireann launches new Intercity Fleet in Heuston Station. Picture Nick Bradshaw/Jason Clarke Photography
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

INTERCITY rail users will be hit by fare increases of up to 13pc after a decision to radically overhaul the pricing structure.

The current fare system for intercity trains is complicated, with different kinds of fares for different regions, or different days of the week.

Yesterday the National Transport Authority (NTA) approved proposals to "streamline" pricing.

It said the new proposals, to come into effect on February 3, aim to remove anomalies and make travel costs simpler, fairer and easier to understand.

The NTA revealed that instead of different ticket types there will now be just three covering the entire service.

These are: a single one-way ticket; a one-day return ticket; and a 30-day open return ticket. Pricing will be based on distance, and the speed of the service will be a key factor for setting fares.

Three speed bands have been announced including express, economy one and economy two.

While a number of fares will decrease, most will increase and a handful will remain the same.

For example, a single trip from Heuston, Dublin, to Sallins, Co Kildare, has increased 9.72pc from €7.20 to €7.90.

The biggest increase of 13.3pc was announced for journeys from Longford town to Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim; Tullamore, Co Offaly, to Athlone, Co Westmeath; and Woodlawn, Co Galway, to Galway town.

The current €10.50 "day saver" rate for the routes will increase to a one-day return rate of €11.90.

It is hard to compare all current return ticket fares with the proposals due to differences in fare types depending on routes.

Currently, a ticket valid for return within five days from Heuston to Limerick is €54. Under the new proposals, a one-day return fare will cost €54 and a ticket valid for return within 30 days will cost €59.

A 30-day return from Heuston to Cork will cost €77, while a one-day return will cost €71, the same as the current cost of a five-day return ticket.

However, a one-way ticket for the same journey has been reduced from €66 to €60.

The NTA has said that 143 fare bands will be increased, 66 will be decreased and 15 will remain unchanged.

Iarnrod Eireann had applied for fare increases across all its services.

Irish Independent

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