Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Timmy Dooley TD, says increasing fares across the CIE group is not the answer to falling passenger numbers.
Deputy Dooley was reacting to the fare increases which came into effect this morning for Luas, Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann and Bus Éireann services.
“Passenger numbers for Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus and Iarnród Éireann are down and what we should be seeing is a strategy to sell the benefits of public transport and entice more people back onto the service. It strikes me that increasing fares at a time when personal and household budgets are already under severe strain is precisely the wrong thing to do.
“Alongside the decision to reduce the capacity of DART trains, this fare hike has the potential to seriously reduce further the attractiveness of public transport as a choice in the capital, which then adds more pressure to the sustainability of the system.
“What we need to see is much more imagination from those who run our public transport infrastructure in how they respond to today’s challenge, and we need to see a more hands-on approach from the Government who seem much too comfortable laying the blame with semi-state management and pointing fingers at the failure of others.
“The cost of living in Dublin and throughout the country continues to rise without respite and without response from Government. Affordable and reliable public transport is a basic necessity for many, especially those in our cities. Simply standing back and allowing passenger numbers fall and prices increase in a destructive cycle is not an option for serious policy makers.”