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Written Answers - Public Transport

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 303.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar  his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding savings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3091/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The provision of public service obligation services by the CIÉ companies is subject to contract between the companies and the National Transport Authority (NTA). In 2012 the total Exchequer funding allocated to the NTA in respect of these services is €242.32m. The amount to be allocated to Bus Éireann by the NTA is €36.883m.

Notwithstanding the NTA’s statutory responsibilities, Government recognises that there is a need for the CIE companies to respond to the challenge of reduced PSO subvention funding, reduced fares income arising from reductions in passenger numbers and increased costs, such as fuel costs, which are outside their control. As a general principle it is my belief that efficiencies in operational costs should, in the first instance, be examined over fare increases and service reductions. While a recovery in passenger numbers could increase company revenues, all concerned in my Department and the NTA must focus on identifying key public transport priorities in our cities and across the country. In turn, the PSO public transport service providers will have to achieve greater efficiency and cost effectiveness in the years ahead based on a realistic assessment of the scope and level of contracted services.

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