Rural commuters deserve fair treatment when it comes to accessing discounted transport, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Carlow Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan noted that most rural commuters rely on private transport services which haven’t yet seen the benefit of the public transport discounts recently announced by government.
Deputy Phelan said, “Public transport discounts are really welcome for commuters, and will encourage people to leave the car at home in a time of rising fuel costs. However they do not benefit the many rural commuters who are reliant on private services.
“These discounts must be extended to private transport services as soon as possible.
“Unless commuters are fortunate enough to live close to a railway line or a Bus Éireann route, then the cuts to transport fares will be of no benefit whatsoever to them, and this applies to large swathes of rural Ireland.
“Rural Ireland is predominantly served by private operators. In my own area JJ Kavanagh and other operators run excellent services but they cannot offer discounted fares to their customers when they are not included in this government initiative.
“I understand that Minister Eamon Ryan does intend to look at including private operators which is positive, but rural commuters really need clarity on a date for this now. People in rural Ireland are affected by the rising cost of living just as much as those in cities. We must incentivise them to leave the car at home, both for the good of their pocket and the good of the environment. Rural commuters deserve fair treatment and I want to see them being able to avail of discounted transport as soon as possible.”