Dessie Ellis TD for Dublin North West has said that CIÉ should not be forced to compete with cherry picked private services, while also providing less profitable services needed by the wider community.
Deputy Ellis was speaking in response to the announcement to Cabinet by Minister for transport, tourism and sport, Leo Varadkar TD, of the planned ‘overhaul’ of routes for Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann, privatising one tenth of public bus routes.
Deputy Ellis said:
“Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann have lost money this year but that is because they are providing a service across the country to isolated communities. CIÉ does not get to cherry pick the most profitable or busy routes it has an obligation to the public and the Minister has an obligation not to make it harder for public transport providers to fulfil their responsibilities.
“CIÉ needs investment, it needs better planning, and for its companies to work better together to provide the best and most efficient service. It also needs the support of the Minister for Transport and the government to do this. Public transport will only suffer from the kind of stealth attacks already undertaken by Leo Varadkar.
“Fine Gael is dedicated to privatising public services regardless of the result. We have seen time and again how privatisation in the long run leads to worse services and higher prices. Public transport is essential to our economy and society and should not be used so recklessly as a pawn in an ideological crusade by right wing Ministers.
“The Transport Committee will tomorrow meet with CIÉ representatives and I will be very eager to raise my concerns about this approach with them.”