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10% privatisation of bus routes is just the beginning - Ellis

30 January, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has said that government plans to privatise 10% of Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann routes is only the beginning of further privatisation. He made his comments following the release of the routes which are going to be made available for private tender in the coming year.

Deputy Ellis said:

“These plans are part of the government wider privatisation agenda which seeks to undermine the public provision of vital services in order to maximise private profit regardless of the effect on the public. In Waterford they already are seeking to privatise 100% of bus services as a pilot operation for the rest of the country. We cannot allow this to happen.”

“Privatisation of public transport has been shown to not improve services and in many cases services get worse especially in more isolated areas. Privatisation also ends up costing the tax payer more as can be seen in London where public funding is even higher than currently is the case in Ireland. Privatisation of public transport means the people pay three times with higher fares, worse service and higher levels of public funding to provide vital services the private sector won't.”

“This is exemplified in housing. For decades government have been dismantling public provision of housing. Now we pay private landlords over half a billion euro a year to house people in accommodation often not fit for habitation.”

“Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann have successfully weather the worst of the economic collapse and continue to provide good service to the public. Recently passenger numbers have been increasing as well as passenger satisfaction with improved use of information technology, integrated ticketing, and new vehicles and routes. Giving away services to private operations which will undercut public companies by under cutting them, over charging passengers and under paying workers will only set back that progress and damage the public transport network.”

“This is about saving our public transport services. Privatisation is in no one’s interest but the private operators and their shareholders.” 

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