Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, today published his party’s plan to invest significantly in our public transport system in order to help to drive down carbon emissions and create a safer, affordable, more accessible public transport network.
The Meath East TD said:
“In order to encourage more people onto public transport, we need to address the underlying problems of cost, accessibility and safety.
“The price of a train journey for a family can be prohibitive, while the monthly cost of commuting is eating into the already stretched finances of workers.
“Sinn Féin are proposing to make the 20% fare reduction permanent and cut the cost of tickets for under 18s by 50%. This would make public transport more attractive and affordable, for more people.
“We are calling for the 20% fare reduction to be extended to Commercial Bus Operators, who provide important connectivity in the regions, but who have been forgotten about by this government.
“We also want to address the lack of public transport options in rural Ireland.
“Our rail network is a skeleton of what it once was, and we want to address this. In addition to the NDP projects, we are committing to delivering the Navan Rail Line and Western Rail Corridor.
“Combined these projects would deliver important new connectivity and provide for an additional 2,375,000 sustainable passenger journeys each year, delivering significant benefits for the regions and our environment.
“For those living in rural Ireland accessing services, employment and education is difficult if not impossible, without using a private car.
“Therefore, we are proposing an acceleration of the delivery of the Connecting Ireland rural bus plan, to give rural communities more transport options.
“For those with a disability, using public transport can still be a nightmare. Broken lifts, inaccessible bus stops or having to give 24 hours’ notice of travel is still a reality for many.
“Over a five-year period, we would deliver the total investment needed to make our train stations, bus stations and bus stops fully wheelchair accessible.
“We also need to address the anti-social behaviour that puts people off using buses, trams and trains. Therefore, instead of just talking about it, we have included proposals to establish a public transport policing unit.
“Our progressive proposals show that we can cut emissions, whilst also delivering social and economic benefits for citizens at the same time.”
Sinn Féin’s ‘Driving down emissions with public transport’ proposals can be read here.