SIR – I refer to recent coverage of comments made by Senator Tim Lombard in relation to bus fares in West Cork.
Mr Lombard suggested that ‘bus users in West Cork are charged excessive rates in comparison to almost anywhere else in the country’ and used a handful of selective – and some incorrect – examples to highlight this assertion.
While the National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for determining fares, Bus Éireann would like to highlight some facts in relation to these fares:
Last year there was up to an 11% reduction in many West Cork fares and this year the company will be seeking a further reduction, with the aim of stimulating greater demand for public transport.
The focus in 2018 has been on the extension of the city zone Leap Card (30% savings compared to cash single fare prices) fares to the suburbs of Cork city, where there is high demand for public transport. By the end of 2018 all bus users in West Cork will be eligible for this too, once the technology is fully rolled out.
Mr Lombard also cites an example of an annual bus ticket costing €3,200 between Bandon and Cork. This is incorrect. The annual cost is €2,535 before possible tax savings of up to 52% are applied if a Taxsaver ticket is purchased.
Also, there was slight decrease in the monthly bus ticket price for travel between Kinsale and Cork in 2018 v 2017.
Notwithstanding that, we are cognisant that there are some anomalies in these fares and we are working hard in conjunction with the NTA to address these. We remain in ongoing discussions.
The Cork City Red Zone (for Leap Card fares) was expanded in December 2017 and many customers in these suburban areas are now paying much lower fares. Fares for areas further out from suburban boundaries are being reviewed during 2018, along with some higher frequency services to West Cork.
Is mise le meas,
Media & PR Manager,