Commuters to be hit with rail fare hike
DUBLIN commuters using public transport are set for another blow with a rise in Dart and bus fares.
Rail passengers face a 3pc hike in fares from next month, while Dublin Bus is set to increase fares from Sunday.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has given Iarnrod Eireann permission to increase fares across Dart, commuter and inter-city services from March 1 after the company complained that it could not make ends meet.
The move comes after Dublin Bus increased fares from Sunday. For journeys of 13 stages and under, they went up 5 cent. Over 13 stages, outer suburban and Xpresso fares rose 10 cent.
Bus Eireann is expected to be allowed hike its charges later this month.
In a decision published yesterday, the NTA said the fare increases for rail -- which will not affect holders of smart cards -- were allowed due to falling revenues and increased costs.
The move comes as passenger numbers fell across the CIE group of companies, with Iarnrod Eireann, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann haemorrhaging 25 million passengers last year.
The Government has also cut a subsidy, known as a subvention, it pays to the group by €44.5m since 2010.
Iarnrod Eireann sought average increases of 5pc, but the NTA sanctioned only a 3.2pc hike.
"The NTA recognises that requiring the company to absorb the additional costs imposed by reduced subvention and increased fuel costs, in addition to falling passenger numbers, would have a significant detrimental impact on services," it said.
The changes include:
- Fares will rise by an average of 3pc on DART and inner commuter services. This means single fares up to €2 will increase by 5 cent, with hikes of 10 cent on fares above €2.30.
- On outer commuter services, fares will increase on a sliding scale - an increase of 30 cent on fares up to €8, a hike of 40 cent on fares between €8-€12 and a 60 centre increase on fares above €12.
- Fares on inter-city services where single tickets cost less than €25 will be increased by 3pc. There is no hike on fares above this rate.