Written answers

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Public Transport

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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13. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views that the recent prices increases in the cost of public transport will be reconciled with the need to encourage greater use of public transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46344/14]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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I refer the Deputy to my response to Question number 9 of today in relation to fare increases. As I stated in my earlier reply, the National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for determining fares in respect of publicly funded bus and rail services and I have no role in the setting of public transport fares. However, I am aware that the changes in bus and rail fares recently announced will cause hardship for many commuters in this city and this country. I am also aware how they may lead to some people questioning the value of public transport vis-à-vis the cost of running a car.  

The maintenance of subsidy funding for public transport for 2015 at present levels has enabled the NTA to moderate the fares’ increases necessary so that the operators can maintain as far as possible the current level of services and can also respond to sectors where demand is growing and capacity needs to be increased. It is welcome to note that, following some years of declining passenger numbers, growth in passenger numbers across all the public transport operators has returned with an average 3.6% increase to September this year. I note that the NTA has stated that it takes into consideration a number of factors in the fares determination process but primarily the objective is to find a greater match between the costs of operating public transport to the revenues accruing from it, while also protecting public transport services themselves.

The NTA is also engaged in the development and deployment of technologies to make it easier to use public transport.  Public transport service quality is also an important factor that influences passenger demand and the NTA has delivered a number of significant cross-operator initiatives such as real time information at bus stops, on Apps and online, the National Journey Planner, the Leap Card, investment in the bus fleet and on-board Wi-Fi, improved public transport maps and the reconfiguration of regional city bus services that to date includes Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.


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