Continued privatisation of bus routes could be costly for communities and transport workers – Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin Transport Spokesperson Imelda Munster TD has today raised concerns about the future of public bus services after the announcement that a British commercial transport company, Go Ahead, will now be running six bus routes in the Dublin Commuter Area along the Kildare corridor previously operated by Bus Éireann.
Go Ahead, a foreign commercial transport agency, previously secured the tender to operate 10% of Dublin Bus routes.
Deputy Munster said:
“I have serious concerns about the continued privatisation of routes by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross.
“There is nothing to stop the NTA from increasing the percentage of routes that they intend to put out to tender, or even privatising the entire public transport bus service in this State.
“Private companies exist only to make profit. Public transport is about providing a public service.
“The shift from service-provision to profit making is a worrying one, given that private operators will not have an interest in providing services on loss-making routes, which provide an invaluable service in rural areas.
“Workers must also be protected, and the existing entitlements of Bus Éireann staff must not be affected by this disastrous decision by the Minister and the NTA.
“Minister Ross should concentrate on looking after the existing public transport network. Investment in Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann must increase and we need guarantees that he does not intend to privatise more services."