Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Timmy Dooley TD, says increasing fares across CIE is not the way to solve the financial problems in the company.
Commuters using Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann and Luas services are to be hit with fare increase of up to 10% from the start of December.
Deputy Dooley commented: “Passenger numbers are down across all modes of public transport. The answer is not to increase fares; this will drive away more customers and offset any gains that may be made. In the last 12 months alone, commuters have seen their fares increase by as much as 30%.
“This is a retrograde step by the NTA and raises further serious questions about the future of public transport in Ireland. I am extremely concerned about the lack of direction from the Minister for Transport. The NTA should be given a mandate to take into account the fact that customers are the most important asset of CIE. Any public transport policy must have customers at the centre.
“We have been trying to encourage people to use public transport to commute to school or work but these fare increases will have the opposite effect. This is another example of Government controlled bodies overseeing rising costs, which consumers have to pay for.
“The subvention for CIE will be cut by €18 million in 2014 without a plan or strategy from the Government as to how the company will absorb this. Minister Varadkar needs to take the lead here and work with CIE and the NTA to make public transport more appealing.”