A standardised fare structure across the bus and rail network must be introduced to prevent a discrepancy in prices, according to Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway.
Senator Conway made the call as he said some passengers are experiencing discrimination in fare prices depending on the county they are travelling in.
Senator Conway said: “The price of a rail ticket if you book online this week to travel from Maynooth to Dublin one way is €3.90, yet the cost of a ticket to travel by train from Ennis in my own county to Limerick one way is €5.15.
“The two journeys take roughly the same time & are nearly the same distance, yet people using the Ennis to Limerick services pay almost a third more.
“The discrimination is worse when you compare the prices charged by Bus Éireann to take journeys from places like Kilrush to Ennis, Kilkee to Ennis, Ennistymon to Ennis & Tulla to Limerick.
“When you do an analysis of the prices paid by people using Dublin Bus or indeed the cost of travelling from neighbouring counties such as Wicklow, Kildare or Meath to Dublin, the differences are even more striking.
“I very much welcome the discounts recently announced by Government that came into effect, amounting to a 20% reduction in the cost of public transport & a 50% reduction for young people under 34 years of age.
“This is the right thing to do as it makes public transport more accessible & it is better for the environment.
“I believe we need a standardised fare structure across the bus & rail network that does not discriminate against people living here in Clare or indeed any part of rural Ireland.
“If Government are serious about encouraging people to change their habits and embrace bus and train services, they need to be accessible. An affordable and a standardised fare structure would be a great start,” Senator Conway said.