Irish commuters will be digging deeper into their pockets with price hikes announced for public transport fares.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) announced at the end of October that prices will soar on Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, and Dublin’s Luas service, with changes expected to be implemented as soon as December 2014.
According to the NTA, “Leap card fares continue to offer customers best value compared to cash”, with the company aiming to “increase Leap card use to simplify fare payments.”
According to Gerry Murphy, CEO of the NTA, the Leap card has proved popular with “over 750,000 Leap cards now in circulation and almost €2 million per week used in travel credit.”
From December 1, 2015 changes to cash fares, Leap card fares, monthly and prepaid tickets will come into force with the most radical changes affecting the adult 30 day rambler ticket.
Commuters and public transport users will be expected to fork out an extra €10 as the fare will alter from €137.50 to €147.50 in the lead up to the Christmas season.
Student tickets will also be hit with a damaging leap to €107.50 from €100 for the 30 day student rambler ticket, with less of an increase on the student 5 day rambler ticket, which is more expensive by €1.50, bringing the total cost to €21.50.
This has not been the first time public transport users have been dealt a blow leading up to the Christmas period, with the NTA previously increasing fares during the months of November and December in 2013, with the same reasoning of ‘protecting service delivery.’
The much relied on Nitelink service by Dublin Bus will now be €6.50 as opposed to €5, with the city centre fare also increasing to €7.50
Dublin Bus will also enhance the €1.80 trip to €1.95, €2.35 to €2.55, €2.60 to €2.80 and €3.05 to €3.30.
Bus Éireann is raising selected fares by as much as nine per cent.
According to the NTA, “fare increases are necessary in order that a sufficient level of service can continue to be provided.”
The NTA also added that “public transport fare increases have been deemed to be necessary in recent years as the operators have sought to compensate for reduced PSO payments.”
The NTA have approved the increases after they received numerous submissions by each of the publicly owned companies, with the NTA commenting that “Dublin Bus has written to the Authority requesting fares increases that will yield extra revenue of €4.9m in 2015.”
The NTA entered into Public Service Contracts with Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann in December 2009.
Weekly commuter and apprentice Michael Doyle is unimpressed with the recent changes:, “There’s no incentive to use public transport as at times it’s pretty much cheaper to drive.”
He also added that “it’s a pretty bad service to be paying through the teeth for. It’s late, and nine out of ten times it flies by packed. We should take a leaf out of Barcelona’s book and protest.”