Hikes in fares hurting public transport – Ellis‏

Sinn Féin transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis has described plans to raise public transport fares by as much as 10% as counterproductive and damaging. He made his comments following approval from the NTA for the proposed hikes.

Ellis said;
“This should be a time of opportunity for the NTA to build public transport. While there are fewer commuters, private transport is increasing costly and an affordable accessible public transport is attractive to commuters.

“Unfortunately the policy of government has been to force cuts on the system and encourage fare hikes in Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus and Irish Rail. This makes the option less attractive as it becomes less affordable for people.

“Some will see their yearly ticket now rise by a further €200 having already rose three previous times under this government.

“These regular hikes, coupled with giving private operators public service obligation contracts, are part of Fine Gaels agenda of undermining public transport.”

New regulations will do little to make taxi industry sustainable – Ellis

_DSC0065October 1, 2013

Sinn Fein transport spokesperson, Dessie Ellis TD, has said that the new taxi regulation which will be passed in the Dáil tomorrow will do little to make the industry more sustainable. He made his comments as the government prepares to move its Taxi Regulation Bill.
Deputy Ellis said:
“This bill contains some good measures to improve the way the Taxi Regulator works and to improve how taxi licences are awarded, but it does not deal directly with the major problem facing the industry.
“There is a massive oversupply of taxis which is leaving many people who depend on taxi driving as their sole livelihood suffering badly. Taxi drivers have been hit hard by the recession because there were no controls on how many taxis could be licenced.
“The Minister undertook a long period of consultation but seems to not have taken notice of the need for a solution to this problem. He is intent on making business harder for taxi drivers by heaping more costs on them but that doesn’t solve the problem.
“The fault in the system has not been fixed and because of that we will experience it again and again.
“Also, unfortunately, the Minister is intent on barring former political prisoners from employment. A section of this bill is in direct contradiction of the Good Friday Agreement which was endorsed overwhelming by the people of this island.”