Public transport set for price hike

Public transport set for price hike

Price rises for bus and rail users are on the way next year, with some due to begin next week.

Irish Rail fares will rise by an average of 9% for DART, short hop commuter services and Intercity, while Cork commuter services will go up 4%.

Bus Éireann will push prices up by an average of 3.5%.

Dublin Bus will see a range of increases of up to 10% to create an extra €4.5m in revenue.

Dublin Bus will increase a €1.80 trip to €1.95, the €2.35 ticket rises to €2.55 and the €2.60 to €2.80. A €3.05 Dublin Bus journey will jump in price to €3.30.

The company carries almost half of all public transport commuters in the State.

Nationwide, Bus Éireann has been given the green light to drive regional city commuter fares up by as much as 9%.

There will be up to 5% increases on other local journeys.

Irish rail users taking suburban services will be forced to pay up to 17% more on some cash fares, while Luas commuters in Dublin face hikes of up to 11% on some tickets.

The price increases have been approved by the National Transport Authority after submissions from each of the publicly owned bus and rail companies.

Gerry Murphy, chief executive of the authority, claimed the overhaul has simplified the fares system.

“With over 750,000 Leap Cards now in circulation and almost two million euro per week used in travel credit, the Leap Card has clearly been welcomed by the travelling public – both for the convenience and for the value it offers,” he said.

“In fact, even with the fares increases announced today – a Leap Card fare in 2015 will nearly always be the same as or lower than a cash fare was in 2012.”

Mr Murphy blamed dropping sales, subsidy cutbacks and fuel cost rises for the increase in fares.

Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann, Irish Rail and Luas fare increases on monthly and annual ticket could kick in from November 1 with cash fare hikes expected from December 1.

Spokesperson for Rail Users Ireland, Mark Gleeson, says it is disappointing.

"We're seeing increases - particularly in commuter fares in the Dublin region - of up to 10% across the board," he said.

"We're seeing, in fact, some three-day and seven-day tickets go up by 25%.

"The fare increases are unacceptable, they are quite directly targeting commuters who have very little choice but to take the train to work.

"We should be looking to other cities and say: 'Why are we paying twice in Dublin what they pay in Berlin or Stockholm?'."

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