Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Timmy Dooley TD, has called on Minister Alan Kelly to withdraw the insensitive and ill-judged comments he made regarding ‘middle class’ commuters.
Minister Kelly said today that middle class commuters don’t see using public transport, especially bus services, as something they would do.
Deputy Dooley commented: “I find the comments made by Minster Kelly, about so-called middle class commuters feeling they shouldn’t be using public transport because of some sort of snobbishness, ill-judged and deeply insensitive.
“Can the Minster explain who he views as a middle-class person? If the Minister actually bothered going on a Dublin bus every morning he would see people from all social classes availing of the services.
“Where did the Minister receive his information about middle class people not using public transport? Is this based on any research?
“Minister Kelly’s answer to falling passenger numbers was to oversee fare increases of 52% over the last 3 years. He should spend more time addressing the rising costs of fares rather than blaming commuters and certain social classes.
“This is nothing more than a cynical attempt to deflect attention away from the Department’s failure to adequately deal with huge deficits in the CIE group. I am asking the Minister to withdraw these insensitive comments and focus his energies on actually addressing the issues in his Department.”