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Public Transport

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (160)

Paul Murphy


160. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport the actions he will take to increase use of bus and rail public transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53678/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

In Budget 2020, and prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, a total of €304 million was provided for PSO and Local Link rural regular services. Due to the impact of Covid-19, which resulted in the collapse of fare revenue on public transport, a further €370 million was allocated to enable the continued operation of public transport services in 2020. As part of Budget 2021, I secured almost €659m for PSO services in 2021, of which €30m is to support the licensed bus sector.

As part of Budget 2022, I secured c. €538m of funding for Public Service Obligation (PSO) and Local Link services provided by State operators and under contract by the National Transport Authority (NTA), including funding for Connecting Ireland, BusConnects and new town services. This funding includes over €200m of COVID-19 emergency funding in 2022 to counter the continuing impacts of the pandemic on fare revenue across transport operators. I have also secured €25m of funding to provide for the introduction of a Youth Travel Card which will allow any person between the age of 19 and 23 to avail of a 50% discount on fares across the transport network and promote modal shift in the transport sector among this group.

The NTA has responsibility for developing and implementing strategies to provide high quality, accessible, sustainable transport across Ireland. Therefore, I have also forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.