Fianna Fáil Press Office
29 January 2016
Dublin needs a more affordable transport system – Fitzpatrick
Fianna Fáil Dublin Central candidate Mary Fitzpatrick is calling for immediate action to create a better, more accountable and more affordable transport system for Dublin.
“Real measures need to be taken immediately to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of Dublin City as a destination for living, visiting, for locating and doing business. The city’s future is being seriously undermined by standstill traffic congestion and expensive public transport.
“There is a real risk we will begin to see large-scale ‘fare poverty’ as in the UK, where a larger and larger portion of commuters’ wages are eaten up by the cost of simply getting to work,” she warned.
“This Government has allowed extensive fare hikes across bus, rail and Luas services. Cumulatively over the last four years, these have been predatory and made a significant dent in people’s pockets while at the same time reducing the attractiveness of public transport.
“Adult cash fares at Dublin Bus have increased by 36% since 2012 while increases in Luas prices totalled 11%. Increases on most monthly and annual rail tickets (on average 42% on short-hop commuter trips) have amounted to a targeted attack on commuters using public transport.
“Despite these massive fare hikes over the last number of years, the NTA approved fare increases of up to 5% across Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Luas and Rail which began last December. This is another blow for commuters, with the costs of these extra fare increases being significant over a year.
“Transport companies have expressed concern about falling passenger numbers, but consistent fare hikes will do nothing to improve the attractiveness of public transport. If this policy direction continues with NTA allowing the capital and wage costs of these companies to be foisted upon the consumer, fewer people will be able to afford the ever increasing fares. This could result in even bigger losses to the public transport sector.”
What Fianna Fáil plans for Dublin Bus:
Enhancing Reliability through targeted Investment in bus lane completion and removing ‘pinch points’, priority signalling at junctions and RTPI.
Increasing Affordability by introducing fare freezes for three years and introducing heavily discounted fares for third level students and young people up to age 25 to encourage public transport habit creation during their formative years.
Increasing Attractiveness via Easy Mobile/Online Fare Payment platforms, Tax Saver Packages for Park and Ride Users and Roll-out of Transport Security on Buses, Darts and Trains.
“These measures would ensure greater use of public transport, more revenue from fares and less congestion in the city centre,” added Ms. Fitzpatrick.