Gino Kenny TD said “The data from the RED C report commissioned by the Department of Transport shows that the public are way ahead of the Government in understanding the need for an improved public transport if we are serious about reducing emissions. This survey shows very clearly if reliable and frequent public transport was available, people would switch from car to bus or train.
The Government needs to get serious about tackling emissions, they have a public who want to avail of public transport, but there are no plans by the Government to make these necessary changes.
Since 2008 investment into public transport was reduced significantly by the previous and current Government, despite knowing back in 2008 that Ireland had the lowest subsidies for public transport in Europe. Dublin Bus has less buses than it did back in 2009, and instead of increasing the fleet of buses the NTA privatised some of the routes to Go Ahead. Dublin Bus made a cheaper offer for the now privatised bus routes, but profit for businesses was put ahead of the public interest”.
The Local TD continued “In my own constituency, Lucan is one the areas that has been up and running with the NTA Bus Connects plans for quite some time. Although some bus services were welcome, linking Lucan to parts of Dublin not previously connected, the overall plan was a reduced bus service. At the time of public consultation, submissions, and a petition to stop the cutting of the 25-bus service was ignored. No plans should have ever cut a community from their bus service. Since the Bus Connects plans have been implemented, feedback from the public falls on deaf ears. My office has written to the NTA numerous times with examples from constituents left waiting long periods for a bus and many on the C routes find the bus is full by the time it gets to them. Requests to increase the frequency of the P29 route are also ignored. If the NTA are serious about improving a service, feedback on Bus Connects plans already implemented need to be taken seriously to resolve problems with poor service”.
Mark Kerins Lucan PBP representative commented “Bus Connects is spun as an improved bus service, but a plan that privatises routes, cuts some communities from their bus service, and expects people especially elderly and disabled persons to transfer buses to get to a destination is not an improved service. With a public who want to switch from a car for public transport the Government needs to make the radical changes required for the public interest and environment. There is an opportunity with Budget 2024 for the Government to invest in free reliable and green transport”.