Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Questions (188)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

194 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Transport if he will report on his proposal for a Dublin transport authority and the timescale proposed for its establishment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21562/05]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

As I have indicated previously before this House, I am committed to reforming the public transport market in order to provide opportunities for both public and private companies to deliver increased public services and to ensure the taxpayer and the customer gets a high quality of service and best value for money.

To this end, I propose to establish an independent national public transport commission to, inter alia, allocate Exchequer subvention for public transport services, both bus and rail, through public service contracts, license commercial bus services and regulate fares on all rail services, LUAS and buses.

In addition to modernising the regulatory framework, I am currently finalising plans for a major programme of investment in public transport and I am considering the structures and arrangements which will need to be put in place to ensure that the best possible return is achieved from this investment. In this context, I am giving consideration as to the institutional structure required to ensure the timely, co-ordinated and integrated delivery of public transport investment in the greater Dublin area. Work will continue in my Department to identify the best way forward. However, I envisage that whatever arrangements are put in place will work effectively with the proposed national public transport commission. I should add that operational planning of services will remain with the public transport providers.

Officials in my Department are continuing to meet with stakeholders on how to modernise the regulatory structure governing public transport.