From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The 20% reduction in bus fares was welcomed by Mayor Colette Connolly, but she has now called for a ‘free’ public transport pilot in the city.
The Mayor told the Galway City Grandstand that if reducing fares were “a welcome step and a step in the right direction”, much more could be done to encourage people to use public transport.
“I think Galway City would be an absolutely ideal place to test a pilot project for a free public transport initiative.
“We need to get more people to use public transport which has been too expensive for far too long. A journey from Eyre Square to Shantalla costing around €2.70 is just too much,” she said.
On city services outside Dublin – including Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford – the TFI (Transport for Ireland) Leap fare has now been reduced from €1.68 to €1.35.
According to TFI, while all rates are reduced by approximately 20%, customers currently paying in cash can save even more by switching to Leap.
However, the government has come under fire from Galway Sinn Féin TD Mairead Farrell, who pointed out that City Direct services – which serve Barna, Knocknacarra and Salthill to the city center – are not covered by the fare reduction.
“In reality, it’s only for subsidized public transport. Large parts of the city do not benefit from this reduction. This is totally unacceptable at a time when the cost of living is exploding.
“At a time when the government is telling us that to meet this cost of living they are bringing this reduction, it is completely unacceptable that certain areas of the city are excluded from this reduction,” said MP Farrell.
For many of the 30,000 residents served by private company City Direct, their routes are the only public transport option.
This is an abbreviated version of this article. For the rest of the story, check out this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.