Public cannot afford higher fares – Ellis
Sinn Féin transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has criticised the announcement by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar that public transport fares will be raised due to a cut in state support for services.
Deputy Ellis said that the public and the economy could not afford to bear higher costs for public transport at the point of delivery.
Deputy Ellis said:
“Even in the boom times the state gave public transport companies like Dublin Bus, CIÉ and Bus Éireann a very low state subvention by international standards yet they worked very hard to provide the best service possible. This meant that we saw every year fares rising due to increasing costs. Now with cuts as high as 8% these companies will seriously struggle to provide a good service which is affordable.
“We need public transport to get people to work, keep down congestion and pollution and encourage a tourist and business friendly environment. Traffic jams caused by forcing people to use private vehicles are proven to be bad for all of the above. The government needs to support public transport and make it as cheap and efficient as possible. If people have to pay more for their bus to work and the service is run down due to cuts then it will have a negative effect on the wider economy.
“At a time when people are having to forgo essentials to make ends meet we cannot be making it even harder for them with costs like this because it is those very people who depend most on efficient and affordable public transport.”