Speaking at Seanad Order of Business today, Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly, welcomed the introduction of the ninety-minute fare that is being rolled out across Dublin.
O’Reilly said “we had very welcome news that there would be a ninety-minute fare for Dublin. This is hugely important because we know that the transition means that we have to have a transition in our transport as well. I can’t see why we can’t have a ninety-minute fare in every city around the country. We would certainly welcome it in Galway”.
She went on to say “when you have a fare that’s coming in from Athenry that’s €6 each way and then you also have to hop on a bus, potentially. There is no joined up fares across most of our cities. I would ask the Minister to progress this. I think this is really important. That’s what’s going to make people get on board with this transition to a climate just future”.
O’Reilly continued “we have seen that ‘Connecting Ireland’ was announced a couple of weeks ago. That will see a huge increase in public transport across the country. Currently 53% of people have access to buses around the country, which is actually quite low. We have a very dispersed population, which is an issue of one-off housing. It’s actually quite difficult to connect up from a transport point of view. But with ‘Connecting Ireland’, 70% of the country will be connected, which is a huge improvement and part of what we, the Green Party, put into the Programme for Government”.
She concluded “but let’s not forget that cost is a huge contributing factor to why people choose a car instead of a bus. When you can get into a car, with your children, and it’s cheaper, and parking is cheaper than getting on a bus. That’s what stops an awful lot of people. It isn’t just the fact that you don’t have access. So let’s address the two at the same time. It’s being addressed now in Dublin and you would have to ask the question, when are we going to see it addressed across our cities outside of Dublin?”