Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Question 571: To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport if any public transport price increases are planned or under consideration; when decisions on any price increases are likely; the impact he envisages these increased costs having on passenger numbers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17585/11]
The recently published CIE accounts for 2010 showed a deficit of €53.597m for 2010. Within the context of such figures, and the fact that the state subvention to public transport providers will decrease significantly over the next number of years, I highlighted in public comment that the CIE companies will be required to look at further cost savings, service rationalisation and fare increases. Cost cutting should take precedence over fare increases and service reductions but fare increases and service reductions will be inevitable if costs cannot be reduced sufficiently. I will communicate same to the newly appointed chairs of the CIE companies when I present them with their letters of mandate in the coming days.
Of course, any proposal by the CIÉ companies to vary bus or rail passenger fares requires the approval of the National Transport Authority (NTA), as part of its independent statutory mandate and the exercise of its powers to enter into public service contracts with the companies. I do not anticipate any fare increases in this calendar year. Fare increases do not require ministerial approval.