Details of sharp fare increases on bus, rail and Luas released

Many cash fares up 8% but small changes to Leap card prices for travellers

Short hop cash fares on Irish Rail have had one of the largest percentage increases up by 15.2 per cent. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Short hop cash fares on Irish Rail have had one of the largest percentage increases up by 15.2 per cent. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times

Wed, Oct 23, 2013, 15:48

Cash tickets and annual bus, rail and Luas travellers in Dublin were the hardest hit by sharp fare increases announced by the National Transport Authority today.

For Dublin Bus and Dart commuters, average cash fares will rise by more than 8 per cent from December 1st, while annual and monthly tickets will increase by some 10 per cent from November 1st.

However, Leap card fares have increased by far less than sought by the operators (up by 2.7 per cent for Irish Rail and Dublin Bus and down by 1 per cent for Luas). The authority is encouraging travellers to switch from cash, as the Leap card is “significantly cheaper” and in many cases the Leap card fares will be cheaper than cash fares paid in 2011 .

The increases were justified by the authority due to the “challenging” environment, with falling passenger numbers and increasing fuel costs. This was particularly so for CIÉ companies, which will face a €17 million subsidy cut next year and need to “stabilise their financial situation reasonably quickly to minimise service cuts”, authority chief executive Gerry Murphy said.

Irish Rail

One of the biggest percentage increases was for Irish Rail’s short hop zone ‘A’ (mainly Dart), with cash fares up by 15.2 per cent (or 15c). However, the average increase in all short hop zone cash tickets is 8.5 per cent .

Iarnród Éireann sought an average increase on adult Leap fares of 10.3 per cent, but an average 2.7 per cent increase was approved by the authority. Leap card fares are either 5 cent less or 10 cent more than 2011 cash fares.

There will also be sharp increases for Irish Rail monthly and annual tickets, which go up by between 9.4 and 10.5 per cent.

Dublin Bus

Most Dublin Bus cash fares will increase by between 15c and 25c (on average of 8.9 per cent). As with Irish Rail, the Leap fare increase is far less than cash fares at 5 cent (2.7 per cent). This is far lower than the 9.7 per cent increase which Dublin Bus requested as part of its bid for a €6 million fare yield increase.

Dublin Bus monthly and annual tickets will increase between 9.3 and 10.2 per cent. The authority noted the significant discount enjoyed by annual ticket holders who receive tax relief.

Luas

Leap card fares for Luas users are down by 1 per cent from December while cash fares will increase by between 3 per cent and 8 per cent.

For example, the central zone peak cash fares will increase by 10c, but the Leap card fare will remain the same. The Leap fares will be almost 10 per cent or 21c cheaper than 2011 cash fares. Annual and monthly Luas tickets will increase by 0 to 6.7 per cent.

Bus Éireann

Bus Éireann cash fares will increase between 4 per cent and 7 per cent. Bus Éireann monthly and annual tickets will go up by 6 per cent on average.

Mr Murphy said fare increases were needed to “protect transport service delivery at a time of reduced incomes for the operators”.

Details can be found here.