The National Transport Authority has approved public transport fare increases across Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Dublin Bus, and Luas services.
The price increases come amid mixed fortunes for public transport providers, with the NTA reporting Dublin Bus passenger numbers falling by 20% between 2008 and 2013 while city services in Cork, Galway, and Limerick showed growth.
Some of the increases come into effect from this Saturday and also on December 1.
As part of the planned 2015 increases approved by the NTA:
-Adult stage 1-3 tickets on Dublin Bus will increase from €1.80 to €1.95, while the 4-7 stage tickets will rise from €2.35 to €2.55, and stages 8-13 tickets will go from €2.60 to €2.80;
-Stages 1-3 and 4-7 Dublin Bus Leap fares will increase from €1.45 to €1.50 and €1.95 to €2.05 respectively. Stages 8-13 Leap fares will reduce from €2.15 to €2.05;
-City bus fares in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford will go up for those paying cash from €1.90 to €2 from December 1 — a 15% increase on 2012 prices. Respective Leap fare prices will be €1.60 in Cork and Galway, with Limerick and Waterford due to get Leap card services in 2015;
-Intercity Iarnród Éireann fares will increase by as much as 6.8%, depending on the route and type of ticket.
Dr Mark Gleeson of Rail Users Ireland said the group was “very disappointed but in no way surprised” at the rail increases.
He said a 10% increase on most monthly and annual rail tickets amounted to a “targeted attack” on Dublin commuters who have no choice but to use public transport.
“The simplest solution to Irish Rail’s problems is to increase passenger numbers — fare increases will serve only to suppress demand particular in discretionary travel,” Dr Gleeson said.
“Clearly the NTA has failed to force Irish Rail to deliver on the cost savings Irish Rail is so publicly claiming it is working on and, as is typical, passengers are left to carry the can,” he said. Barry Kenny of Iarnród Éireann said discount promotions on train tickets ensured Irish Rail travel costs were below European norms despite the impending fare increases.
“The fare determination gives clarity as we plan our finances and services for 2015. Discount options are available for all travel types — including online for Intercity, season tickets for regular commuters and Leap cards also. Through this range of fares, rail travel costs for customers remain below European averages, with PSO funding also lower than European norms,” Mr Kenny said.
In approving larger increases on cash fares than the price of trips for consumers using Leap cards, the NTA says it aims to increase Leap Card usage to simplify fares payments and improve bus journey times.
Gerry Murphy of the NTA said: “With over 750,000 Leap Cards now in circulation and almost €2m per week used in travel credit, the Leap Card has clearly been welcomed — both for the convenience and for the value it offers. In fact, even with the fares’ increases, a Leap Card fare in 2015 will nearly always be the same as or lower than a cash fare was in 2012.”
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