Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 16 Oct 2002

Vol. 555 No. 3

Written Answers. - Public Transport.

Mary Upton


78 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Transport if he has received an application from Dublin Bus for an increase in fares; the level of increase being sought; if he intends to grant the application having regard to the need to encourage more people to use public transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18230/02]

Róisín Shortall


113 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Transport if the Government is seeking to reduce the level of State subvention to CIE; the implications this would have on the level of services provided by CIE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18236/02]

Paul Kehoe


115 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Transport if he will outline the plans which Irish Rail has to address the ?25 million cost over-run projected for 2002. [18331/02]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 78, 113 and 115 together.

This year €233 million of Exchequer funding has been allocated to CIE as a revenue subvention to provide for non-commercial but socially necessary services. This represents an increase of 75% in Exchequer revenue funding since 1997 and together with significant capital investment under the national development plan reflects the commitment of this Government to public transport, following decades of under investment.

A multi-annual framework for funding the public transport elements of the national development plan has been put in place to assist the companies in planning the implementation of the plan and the delivery of services. Against this background, the annual subvention to CIE is being increased by a further 5% per annum.

In the context of the significant State support being provided to the CIE companies, I am anxious that a system to measure output performance criteria be put in place to determine value for money for the State subvention provided. In this regard, my Department is developing a performance indicator system in conjunction with the operating companies. This system will allow for greater analysis of the operation of the bus and rail companies in the context of the on-going subvention, and for monitoring of the companies performance over time in containing costs, generating revenue and increasing passenger numbers.

However, despite the significant increase in the State subvention in recent years, the three operating companies continue to face a difficult financial position following the rapid expansion of services under the national development plan, the increasing impact of congestion on certain services and increased operating overheads. In this context, the companies have recently submitted an application for fares increases to my Department. I am conscious that the significant progress in infrastructure development in recent years needs to be accompanied by improvements in the organisational structures for and the efficiency and effectiveness of public transport provision. It is in the context of these reform issues that I am considering the applications for the fares increase.