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Commuters driven back to their cars

DOES CIE see commuters as an endless cash cow? The organisation, which runs DART, Dublin Bus, Intercity rail and Bus Eireann services, has applied for another fare increase, its second this year.

Some rail and bus fares may rise by 6pc if the National Transport Authority agrees to the request.

This would come after rises of up to 13pc in fares earlier this year and before further increases planned for 2013 and 2014.

For his part, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has refused to rule out fare increases.

Bus and rail services have suffered a decline in usage - the number of people working is obviously way down on what it was at the height of the boom.

Price rises will come as yet another cost for working people who have already seen their incomes depleted by higher taxes.

An increase in fares is also likely to encourage more people to return to using their cars.