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budget 2024

Ryan wants to pause further fare reductions and invest money into expanded public transport

Eamon Ryan says he wants to rapidly expand the public transport services.

TRANSPORT MINISTER EAMON Ryan has said he would prefer to put more money into public transport rather than roll out more fare reductions in this year’s budget. 

Speaking to The Journal in New York, where he is attending the UN General Assembly this week, the minister said he wants to rapidly expand public transport services, but that will cost money. 

The question is where you put the money, said Ryan, stating he would like to put the money into new services.

“I would like to hold the fare reductions, which isn’t insignificant in terms of the costs to the exchequer,” he said. 

Last year, a 20% reduction in the cost of Dublin’s public transport fares was announced. 

The cost of Dublin Bus, Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland, DART and commuter rail services in the Greater Dublin Area were cut by one-fifth, as well as reductions in other parts of the country.

The 90-minute fare in the Dublin area – known as the Short Hop Zone – also dropped to €2 for adults and 65 cent for children.

While the fare reductions made a “huge difference” in the numbers using public transport, said the minister. 

The number of passengers are shooting up as a result of it, added Ryan. 

“So I think absolutely it has worked… everyone would love further fare reductions, but the challenge I have is we’re rolling out a new rural bus services every week.

“We have got all the bus connects projects… we have cork metropolitan rail, which is about to come out off planning and we have the DART plus, which is going to triple the size of the DART network. We have the Metro coming. We have the Galway cross city route, which we need to deliver. And we have the Limerick Railway Station,” he said, adding: 

But we also have to pay for all that.

“What I want is a massive expansion of public transport,” he said, adding that the final decision on its merits will be made ahead of the budget.

“There’s so much new public transport services coming and I want to pay for it all,” said the minister.

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