Written Answers. - Public Transport.

Seán Crowe

Question:

219 Mr. Crowe asked the Minister for Transport the amount of money invested by the State in Dublin Bus on an annual basis; the way in which this compares with the amount of money invested by other EU countries in similar public transport systems; the percentage of costs met by the Government in relation to Dublin Bus; and the way in which this compares with the percentage of costs met by other EU countries. [21988/02]

Córas Iompair Éireann receives a subvention on an annual basis from the Exchequer in respect of the socially necessary but non-commercial public transport services provided by the operating companies. Bus Átha Cliath has been allocated an amount of €55 million in respect of 2002, which represents an increase of over 300% in Exchequer funding since 1999. This increased funding reflects the significant expansion in the capacity and frequency of the services provided by the company, particularly at peak hours under the national development plan.

A comparison with the levels of investment in other EU countries is not an appropriate exercise as such comparisons are misleading in that they do not take account of differing circumstances in individual cities. However, a comparative study carried out in 2000 by the department of economics, University College Dublin, of the levels of Government subvention in urban public transport in European cities indicated that Ireland – Dublin – had the third lowest average subvention rates for urban bus services. The study has not been updated since then to take account of the extra subvention now being paid to Bus Átha Cliath.

In addition, Exchequer payments to BAC in respect of capital investment will amount to an estimated €19.2 million in the current year.