Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dublin Bus fares going up again?

Dublin Bus hiding new faresToday I gave in & bought a Dublin Bus prepaid ticket for the first time in ages. It's a pain scrounging for change every day but the cheapest prepaid option is more than I'd spend with cash fare & I'm tight when it comes to giving state companies money.

I bought a 'Travel 90 Smartcard'. It cost me €17. I noticed my ticket had an odd 'feature'. A black mark. On further inspection I see it's covering the figure €19.50. Hmm. Immediately I thought of two possible reasons:

  1. Miss-print of price merely being corrected
  2. Fare increase is on the way
I found out via Twitter that other tickets seem to have this 'blemish' also. Possible reason #1 starts giving way to fury that #2 is the likely outcome. I have sent an email to Dublin Bus asking if these are indeed fare increases we can expect in the near future. Update: They responded via email (no Dear x, Hi, Hello, not even a sign-off) "These are the new proposed prices , which may come into effect at some stage in the new year". I've checked out their website, the CIE website, no news of fare increases anywhere. So I'm guessing the news will be delivered in the same way it has been in previous years - posters start appearing on the buses around Xmas listing old & new prices & before you know it, the bus driver is tearing strips off you coz you haven't paid your extra 10cent on January 1st.

I moved to Dublin in July 2002. I have lived in the Glasnevin area (within the same bus fare zone) since then. In July 2002, the bus fare to town was €1.05. Today the same fare is €1.50. That's an increase of almost 43% in 6 years. CIE are reporting massive losses this year which may result in hundreds of job losses, service cutbacks & in some cases, route cancellations. And now it looks like fares on Dublin Bus (if not across the entire CIE network) are going up yet again. I want to know where's the justification? Fuel prices are falling daily so surely that can offset some of the decline in passenger numbers? Job cuts, route cuts, sale/rent of the 100 buses being withdrawn from service should help balance the books, shouldn't they?

I've been boycotting CIE as far as I can this year, choosing private bus services where available in protest against the ridiculous train fares & unreliable Bus Eireann services. Dublin-Belfast is €86 return on Irish Rail, journey time 2 hrs. Same journey with Aircoach is €25, journey time 2hrs. I'm now also learning to drive. I'd love to say I'll boycott their services in protest but I am dependent on Dublin Bus to get me to & from work every day.

Seriously guys, where has all the money gone?

1 comment:

TheChrisD said...

At least this way, they can get the merchants to start selling them at the increased price from January 1st.

I remember before when the prices went up, but the Travelwide tickets were still set at the old price for a while (depending on the stock at the shop).