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Passengers must expect higher public transport fares - Varadkar

The Transport Minister says CIE is losing money – and that passengers should also anticipate cuts to services.

TRANSPORT MINISTER Leo Varadkar has warned commuters that they should expect higher fares for public transport in future, as CIE continues to rack up significant losses.

The minister told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that while CIÉ was providing good services, it had run up a €50m loss in 2009 – which could not be made up in state subsidies.

As passenger numbers continued to fall, and CIÉ struggled with a pension fund deficit, the only way for it to boost its revenue would be through increased ticket prices.

The level of fare increases was yet to be decided upon, Varadkar added, and would be adjusted to ensure that public transport still remained an attractive proposition.

Varadkar is not actually responsible for train fares; responsibility for allowing increased fares has lay with the National Transport Authority since December 2009.

Yesterday, Varadkar appointed new chairs of CIÉ and its three constituent companies – with two of those four people being hired by way of a public advertisement.

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Gavan Reilly

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