Bus Éireann and transport infrastructure
Sir, – Peter Molloy’s notion that Bus Éireann is losing out because holders of free travel passes are opting to use private operators is at odds with those who argue that Bus Éireann loses money when accepting free travel passes (February 22nd). Evidently, private entrepreneurs regard the free travel remuneration they receive from the State as a bonus on top of their core business. Why cannot Bus Éireann adopt the same attitude? – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Bus Éireann is proposing to cut bus connectivity within the island because of a yearly shortfall of about €9 million. This proposal has caused much debate – as it should – especially as the Government has reduced taxes and duties on private airline companies in order to stimulate an artificial supply-side passenger demand.
At the same time, Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is in the process of spending €320 million on a new runway to increase connectivity to such vital destinations as Sao Paulo and Vancouver. This has caused little or no debate. This is surprising because the DAA has published a fabulous economic document purporting to justify the expansion of the airport.
Additional huge amounts of capital will be required for the DAA’s speculative hotel and business park developments that are necessary to justify the new runway.
Meanwhile, it is reported that Bus Éireann intends to reduce working conditions, pay and pensions to the level that prevails in the airline industry.
Can we afford to allow all of this to take place without a full consideration of the future of the totality of our transport infrastructure? – Yours, etc,
Portmarnock, Co Dublin.
Sir, –There was no problem finding €50 million a year to stop the Garda strike. So surely it makes sense to find €9 million for Bus Éireann to facilitate a bus service that will provide transport for hundreds of thousands of our citizens. In the grander scheme, this figure is buttons. – Yours, etc,
THOMAS J CLARKE,