Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Timmy Dooley TD, says increasing fares is not the answer to the crisis facing CIE and an overhaul of the company’s transport policy is needed.

Deputy Dooley was speaking today after the NTMA announced fare increases to all public transport services, which will come into effect next month.

“Minister Varadkar has stated that increasing fares is not the answer to the issues that CIE face. In fact, in opposition he said price increase would only serve to drive customers away,” said Deputy Dooley.

“An overhaul of CIE’s strategy and vision is needed. The package that CIE offers at the moment is not attractive to customers and this needs to change. The attempts by the company to address their problems are only papering over the cracks.

“CIE’s long term viability is under real threat, a comprehensive review of its policy is required to ensure its long-term survival. The company must restructure to make it attractive to customers again. If this involves an increase in the subvention from the Government in the short-term then this should be accommodated.

“CIE has found itself in a vicious cycle of increasing fares and falling passenger numbers. It is essential to protect the public service aspect of the company. Auditors for CIE have already expressed huge concern with the future viability of the company as a going concern.

“Minister Varadkar needs to facilitate a new service plan for CIE and this must be done urgently to secure the company’s future.”