Thursday, 22 September 2022
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
37. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will retain the reduced public transport fares to help with the cost of living in 2023; if his Department has considered reducing the public transport fares even further; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46200/22]
66. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to extend the 20% fare reduction for public transport to commercial bus operators; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46317/22]
83. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures being considered by his Department to further cut the cost of public transport in Budget 2023; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46254/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 37, 61, 65, 66, 83 and 85 together.
As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport; however, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility for the regulation of fares charged to passengers in respect of public transport services provided under public service obligation (PSO) contracts.
As the Deputy is aware the Young Adult Card (YAC) was introduced on PSO services on the 9th of May and then extended to participating commercial bus operators on the 5th of September. This will not only promote modal shift in the transport sector among this age group but should also contribute towards a reduced reliance on private transport with associated benefit of transport emission savings.
Further, earlier this year additional funding was secured for the introduction of an 20% average fare reduction on Public Service Obligation (PSO) transport services until the end of 2022.
I do believe that public transport fare initiatives have a role to play in combatting the rising cost of transport and in encouraging modal shift. As such, I would like to see the discount fare schemes continue into 2023; however, I am acutely aware of the competing pressures across the system and the finite Exchequer resources.
The funding allocation for PSO public transport services for 2023, including the fare initiatives are subject to the annual Budgetary process and therefore the allocations for 2023 are yet to be determined.