TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has praised as “the right way forward” the Irish government’s commitment to continue cuts in public transport fares and urged Britain to follow suit.
The comments from Cortes come after the Irish Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, said he would be “very keen” to retain a 20 per cent cut in public transport fares beyond this year.
Ahead of the Budget in October Martin said retaining fares at the current level was “something that makes sense in terms of climate change, the utilisation of public transport. It is important for young people in particular.”
Fares for bus and rail travel - including Dublin’s trams - were all cut earlier this year for the remainder of 2022 amid growing financial pressure facing households.
Commenting, Cortes, said: “I’m delighted to see this initiative from the government in Dublin. It is the right way forward for a number of reasons.
“Retaining this cut in fares for public transport across the network not only helps build the country’s economic recovery from Covid but does so in a way which emphasises the central role our rail and public transport play in tackling the climate emergency.
“Not only will the retention of this cut in fares help millions deal with the escalating cost of living crisis but it will directly lead to a recovery in post-pandemic passenger numbers.
“It should also be a signal to the government in Westminster that reducing services is a totally wrong-headed approach. During the pandemic we saw with crystal clarity the vital role played by our rail and bus network and the brave workers on the frontline.
“Ireland has the right approach to recovery and the British government should follow that lead without delay.”