Tuesday 16 January 2018

Opening the market will benefit passengers but not Bus Eireann

Independent operators help to cut fares while increasing route numbers and hours of operation

'If Bus Eireann is in trouble for €6m to €8m on 23 contested Expressway routes, has this implications for the annual subsidy of €40m on routes awarded without competitive tendering?' Photo: Maxwell Photography
'If Bus Eireann is in trouble for €6m to €8m on 23 contested Expressway routes, has this implications for the annual subsidy of €40m on routes awarded without competitive tendering?' Photo: Maxwell Photography

Sean Barrett

A bizarre aspect of the Bus Eireann industrial relations dispute last week was the blaming of competitors for the company's reported ills. I do not recall, for example, parties to a dispute in a company producing biscuits issuing tirades against other biscuit makers.

A hotelier seeking a ban on new hotels within a radius of his hotel because he had some empty rooms would not retain the attention of policymakers for long.

The first item on the charge sheet against the independent bus companies is that they work too hard. They have increased the supply of bus services too much.

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