asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce (1) if a decision has yet been arrived at by his Department in connection with the increases in fares recently made by the Dublin United Tramways Company; and, if so, if he will make a statement in the matter; and (2) if by virtue of the powers conferred on him he will take steps with a view to (a) having the distances increased for the different fares and a greater number of penny fares introduced on each route; and (b) the general adoption of return fares and of special rates for school children on all services.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin Tramway Fares.
So far as my Department's investigation has gone, the recent increases in tram and bus fares do not appear to be justified, and the matter is still under consideration with the tramway company. Part (2) (a) of the question appears to be covered by the consideration relating to part (1).
With regard to part (2) (b) I understand that special rates for school children are generally available, and that the general adoption of return fares by the tramway company is not practicable.
Arising out of the Minister's reply, is he aware of the grave dissatisfaction that exists among the general public regarding the system under which the increased fares are operating at present? In the case of wage earners, they are deprived of the opportunity which they had previously of being able to make the journey in and out of the city to their meals, as the result of the increased fares has been to impose too heavy a burden on them. In addition to that, school children in the new housing areas, owing to the lack of accommodation in the local schools, have to go to schools in the city, and a great many complaints are being received by reason of the fact that many of these children are constantly being drenched with rain at the present time since they are not able to pay these increased fares. Does the Minister not think that, in some special circumstances such as these, the rate should be reduced from what it is? At the present time the rate is half-fare, and that means 2d. per journey to children where the ordinary fare is 4d.
I am aware that there is dissatisfaction.
In view of the Minister's speech last night, as reported in the Press, could he tell us now what he intends to do in order to provide the citizens with a cheap and efficient transport service in the city?
Perhaps the Minister can tell us what does the increase in fares arise from?
Too many people using bicycles.
I refer the Deputy to the reply I have given to the question.