A Fine Gael Senator has criticised the “exclusion” of rail commuters in Skerries and Balbriggan from Transport for Ireland’s (TFI) ‘90-minute fare’ scheme.
Senator Regina Doherty said, “The new TFI fare allows commuters across Dublin to travel on all forms of public transport, and to change between services, for a €2 Leap Card fare within a 90-minute window. This scheme is, obviously, extremely welcome, but in terms of Irish Rail services, it only covers certain ‘zones’, and it seems as though Skerries and Balbriggan fall outside those zones.
“Skerries and Balbriggan are commuter towns and many people in this part of North County Dublin rely on the train to get in and out of Dublin City. If you live in Malahide or Portmarnock or Clongriffin – or anywhere else along the existing DART line – you will be charged a €2 fare for 90-minutes of journey time, as you would on any bus or tram, and that’s great. However, if you live in Skerries or Balbriggan, your fare will increase to €3 or even €3.90.
“In other words, a journey from Skerries to Howth by train would cost me more than a trip from Clontarf all the way down to Bray. Skerries and Balbriggan are in Dublin. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Fine Gael Councillor Tom O’Leary, who represents Skerries and Balbriggan on Fingal County Council, said, “The long-awaited DART+ Coastal North project – which will extend the DART line beyond Malahide for the first time – is now in sight. It will bring the DART all the way to Drogheda, stopping in all stations in North County Dublin. It seems unfair that Skerries and Balbriggan commuters, who will eventually become part of the DART network, are being denied the lower fare while those on the current DART line enjoy it.”
Senator Doherty added, “I have written to Minister Eamon Ryan, seeking a resolution to this loophole and calling for a universal, all-of-Dublin fare to be rolled out across our wider county. The commuters of Skerries and Balbriggan, who have contacted Cllr. O’Leary and I are among the only people in all of Dublin who pay more for public transport, and that’s just not acceptable”.