A senior Bus Éireann official has said there's nothing he can do about an anomaly whereby passengers from Youghal, Co Cork, pay double the price to get to Cork City than commuters from Dungarvan, Co Waterford.
The adult daily return fare from Dungarvan to Cork (75kms) costs €9.50. The same fare from Youghal to Cork (48kms) costs €19.
People living even closer to Cork are still paying more than Dungarvanites.
The fare from Killeagh to Cork is €18.04, Castlemartyr is €15.10, and Midleton €11.40.
The pricing structure has been heavily criticised by county councillors representing the East Cork area.
They took the opportunity to tell Bus Éireann services manager Tim O'Leary this at a municipal district council meeting.
"This is completely unjustified, and it is acting as a major deterrent to commuters taking an environmentally friendly option to travel to Cork City," Cllr James O'Connor said.
Mr O'Leary said that Bus Éireann had been offering the "promotional fare" on the Dungarvan Expressway route for several months.
He said his company was allowed to reduce fares for promotional reasons, but it couldn't do so on the Cork routes as they were set by the NTA (National Transport Authority).
Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley also argued for reduced fares from towns and villages in East Cork to Cork City, pointing out that it was "very hard to explain to the public".
Cllr O'Connor is to raise the matter at a full county council meeting next Monday and in the meantime has launched an online petition which will be sent to the NTA.
Meanwhile, councillors also expressed their frustration with the length of time it was taking Bus Éireann to carry out a review of its services in the region.
Cllr Michael Hegarty said they were told two years ago there was going to be a revision of bus timetables in East Cork. Mr O'Leary said that review was still ongoing.
He said the bus service to Ladysbridge in the mornings is fine, but the return journey in the evenings only goes as far as Castlemartyr and commuters have to walk the rest of the way home.
Cllr Danielle Twomey pointed out that the people of Dungourney were also getting a poor service, while Cllr Noel Collins said the same could be said in the villages of Aghada and Whitegate.
Cllr Susan McCarthy told Mr O'Leary she was constantly getting complaints from people living in Castlemartyr that buses were full by the time they arrived there.
"Many are left stranded. There should be additional buses put on there to deal with this," she said.