Fianna Fáil Press Office
Mary Fitzpatrick
Dublin Central

18 February 2016

Dublin public transport needs to be more affordable – Fitzpatrick

Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Central Mary Fitzpatrick has called for a greater focus on the enhancement of public transport services in Dublin. Speaking following the launch of the party’s Transport Policy document A Better Deal For Commuters Ms Fitzpatrick pointed out that today’s Luas strike had highlighted the current government’s hands-off approach to the public transport issue.

“Fianna Fáil plans, as a central long-term objective, to shift the modal share of travel commuter journeys away from private cars towards public transport, walking and cycling. We need to make public transport more affordable. Dublin Bus offers WiFi, real time information, it is wheelchair friendly and provides a wonderful service, but frequent fare hikes have made it too expensive for many people.

“We really need to make it a more desirable and more accessible form of travel for all passengers currently using cars to access their workplace.

“Fianna Fáil will place a greater emphasis on ‘pull’ factors than the current government transport policy. To get more car users onto public transport we need a public transport system across Dublin – including Bus, Rail and Luas – that is more Reliable, Integrated, Affordable and Attractive to use. We will implement a number of measures to achieve this:

Invest in Public Transport

Investment in CIÉ – including Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Irish Rail – has been cut by on average 25% under FG/Lab, and a massive 40% for Bus Éireann alone.

Fianna Fáil will significantly increase annual investment in public transport, increasing funding to CIÉ companies – Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Iarnrod Éireann – by €28.54 million per annum.

Fare Freezes

Consistent fare hikes have done nothing to improve the attractiveness of public transport. 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. The increase at Bus Éireann averaged at 18% 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.

If we do not address the declining affordability of public transport in the GDA 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.

“Fianna Fáil will implement fare freezes across Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Dart and commuter rail services for three years, all of which will encourage a new generation who will automatically consider taking public transport,” added Ms Fitzpatrick.

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