Irish Rail urged to alter prices amid fares scrutiny

Irish Rail urged to alter prices amid fares scrutiny

Irish Rail is being urged to alter its prices on some commuter lines in Co Cork following an investigation of its fares.

Green Party councillor Alan O’Connor won unanimous support from colleagues after outlining his research at a meeting of Cork County Council.

Firstly, he pointed out that an online return fare from Carrigtwohill to Cork is only 27% higher than one from Glounthaune, and 85%/87% from the vending machines and Leap cards, respectively.

“I think it’s reasonable to ask at least that prices be reduced in proportion, compared with online fares,” said Mr O’Connor.

The current Leap Card prices for an adult/child/schoolchild single journey between Carrigtwohill and Cork (regarded as a zone C station on the Cork suburban line) are €4.55/€2.25/€0.80 respectively.

The current prices for those journeys from a zone B station such as Glounthaune are €2.43/€1.20/€0.80. Cobh, Rushbrooke, Carrigaloe, and Fota are also designated as Zone C with respect to Cork.

“A Leap-fare return journey to Cork therefore costs €9.10 for an adult from Carrigtwohill (or any other zone C station), whereas it costs €4.86 from a zone B station such as Glounthaune.

"The price difference is even greater if one buys one’s ticket from a vending machine which is €10.15 against €5.50 return,” explained Mr O’Connor.

“Taking Carrigtwohill as a specific example, the journey time between Carrigtwohill and Cork on the train is approximately 16 minutes, whereas from Glounthaune to Cork it is 11 minutes.

Relatively speaking, therefore, whereas the journey time between Cork and Carrigtwohill is approximately 45% longer than that from Glounthaune, a return Leap fare from Carrigtwohill is 87% more expensive than one from Glounthaune.

Mr O’Connor pointed out that travel times between Cork and the stations at Fota, Carrigaloe, Rushbrooke, and Cobh range between 14 and 24 minutes.

There is less of a difference between zones B and C with regard to online fares: An adult single to Cork from Carrigtwohill and Glounthaune costs €3.50 and €2.75, respectively.

The return journey from zone C to Cork is therefore 27% more expensive if tickets are purchased online. An adult monthly ticket from zone C stations is 36% more expensive than one from zone B (€121.70 vs €89.25).

“There is another consideration specific to Carrigtwohill and Glounthaune.

"The current pricing strategy makes it financially attractive for those who might otherwise use Carrigtwohill railway station to drive to Glounthaune, and to travel by train from there to Cork. The car park at Glounthaune station is invariably overflowing, and the one in Carrigtwohill greatly under-used,” said Mr O’Connor.

He added that while fares would ideally be reduced across all zones and services in order to incentivise train travel, he said he felt it was reasonable to request that consideration be made, during the next fare determination period, to at least a reduction in fares between all zone C stations and Cork.

“I suggest that this reduction may be made in order that the cost differential between zone B and zone C stations, across all fares, be proportional to the difference between those zones in online fares.”

More on this topic

Vandalised rail signal delays Heuston Station services by 45 minutesVandalised rail signal delays Heuston Station services by 45 minutes

Union boss calls for transport police to deal with 'downright thuggery' on rail servicesUnion boss calls for transport police to deal with 'downright thuggery' on rail services

Irish Rail condemns racial abuse on trains following complaints Irish Rail condemns racial abuse on trains following complaints

Iarnród Éireann has €1.1m deficit as user numbers riseIarnród Éireann has €1.1m deficit as user numbers rise


More in this Section

Man, 30s, dies following stabbing incident in Dublin; two men arrestedMan, 30s, dies following stabbing incident in Dublin; two men arrested

One northbound lane of M8 reopens following surface floodingOne northbound lane of M8 reopens following surface flooding

Councillors who bowed out at May's local elections to receive retirement gratuitiesCouncillors who bowed out at May's local elections to receive retirement gratuities

Brexit deal can be negotiated in time for EU summit, insists GovernmentBrexit deal can be negotiated in time for EU summit, insists Government


Lifestyle

To instantly power up your look, veer towards the hard shoulder.Bold shoulder: How to instantly power up your look

Plums are a wonderful autumn fruit, useful for all sorts of recipes both sweet and savoury. In Ireland we are blessed with wonderfully sweet plums.Currabinny Cooks: Juicy plums work for both sweet and savoury dishes

The rise of home skincare devices doesn't mean that salons and clinics no longer serve a purpose.The Skin Nerd: Don’t try this at home — new treatments in the salon

Millions of gamers watched Fortnite reach breaking point on Sunday night, with ten seasons of mysterious storyline culminating in meteors hitting the island and everything disappearing.GameTech: End of beginning for Fortnite as Chapter 2 finally goes live

More From The Irish Examiner