Minister’s approach to CIE draws into question his commitment to public transport provision - Ellis
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Dessie Ellis TD has called on Minister Varadkar to work with the Oireachtas Transport Committee on Transport, Unions and CIE to develop a strategy to improve public transport across the state, making it sustainable, high quality and good value for both the state and the public.
Deputy Ellis made his comments following a statement from Minister Varadkar that despite emergency funding being put in place public transport fares might be raised further.
Deputy Ellis said;
“The Minister admits that fare increases are discouraging people from using public transport and that this is in part responsible for the need for emergency funding but he still thinks it might be necessary to raise fares. This makes no sense. If higher fares are part of the problem because they discourage use of public transport then raising fares can obviously only hinder attempts to save services.
“The use of public transport needs to be encouraged by the Minister and CIE. Fares are a big part of this. People will not be willing to pay more for potentially worse service.
“The Minister needs to work with the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and others to develop a strategy to promote public transport and make it a desirable option for the Irish people, urban and rural and well as visitors.
“This should be done by making the service more accessible, varied and affordable. Raising fares is directly against the interests of public transport and given the fact the Minister is considering tenders for Public Service Obligation routes over the summer it draws into question his commitment to public transport entirely.”