New year fares

Passengers break their “no swearing” resolution as they get to grips with new
transport taxes bus and train fares

So it’s the new year, and that means yet another round of fare increases. As usual the transport companies are less than transparent about the increases.

Dublin Bus have increased most fares by 5-10¢, although the information is only
available on their site via a pdf [full details here]. Irish Rail have also increased fares “by an average of 2.75%“, but that’s the only information you’ll get from their website, to find out if you’re fare has increaed you’ll have to phone them. There are increases on the LUAS too, including a peak-time charge, but you can avail of cheaper fares if you use a pre-paid smartcard.

With these increases, yet another opportunity has been lost to rationalise ticket prices. We propose fares on Dublin Bus to be changed to a scheme along the lines of €1 for short to medium distances, €2 for longer distances, and €3 for outer suburban style distances. Any shortfall should be met with in increase in state subvention – at present it’s among the lowest in the western world.

Flat fares like these would mean faster loading times, as most customers would just need one or two coins to throw in the slot. As any driver will tell you, faster loading times mean faster journey times.

In addition, we need real integrated ticketing, including being easily able to purchase transfer style tickets enabling passengers to start a journey on one transport mode and end it on another – at present this is difficult, if not impossible in many cases.

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