PRIVATE BUS OPERATORS have told an Oireachtas Committee that they could save the State up to €30 million a year if they were allowed to take over 350 subsidised bus routes currently operated by Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus.
Chairman of the Committee on Transport and Communications Tom Hayes said the decreasing pool of state funding for public transport is hindering the delivery of some rural services in particular. The Coach Tourism and Transport Council (CTTC) has called for routes to be opened up to bids from private companies when the contracts come up for renewal in 2014.
Senator Paschal Mooney criticised the CTTC, who he said were attempting to “cherry pick profitable routes between large centers while not caring about small towns and villages”.
Bus Éireann CEO Martin Nolan said that while changes to some routes were necessary to protect jobs, the company is still in a strong position to continue delivering bus services nationwide.
Would you welcome more privatisation of bus routes?