Rail commuters hit with price hike

Local rail commuters have blasted Irish Rail for increasing fares on trains travelling to Dublin before 9.30am.

Local rail commuters have blasted Irish Rail for increasing fares on trains travelling to Dublin before 9.30am.

The new fares came into force last month and has angered local commuters.

For those travelling before 9.30am, a day return to Dublin will cost €29.80 and a single ticket will cost €23.40.

These prices are compared with passengers travelling after 9.30am, in which a day return will be €18.10 and a single will be €16.80.

Irish Rail say the new fares were determined by the National Transport Authority.

Barry Kenny, spokesperson for Irish Rail, told The Dundalk Democrat that a “promotional fare” is provided for trains after 9.30am.

He said: “We have a promotional discount fare after 09.30hrs, as trains are much busier before 09.30hrs with season ticket holders commuting daily, who of course pay a far lower rate per journey.

“Our funding has been reduced by a further €9 million for 2014, bringing to €74 million or 38% the total reduction in funding since 2008.

“Therefore, despite reducing our cost base significantly over the same time period, we have to raise additional revenue through fares to ensure we can maintain our services.

“Dundalk experienced one of the lowest increases in percentage terms, with for example the pre-09.30hrs day return increasing by just 10 cent to €29.80.”

However, The Dundalk Democrat followers on Facebook vented their anger regarding the increased fares.

Many highlighted coach travel as an alternative way to travel to Dublin, while others told how it’s difficult to get a seat at peak rail times.

Colm Doran said: “Disgrace, 15euro should be the price and return”

Gareth Hoey said: “Matthews all the way. Guarantee of a seat. Mad money for a train ticket.”

Ben Mc Loughlin said: “I get a 30 pound Weekly ticket for zone 1 and 2 in London. Irish Rail are charging €30 for a one day return. Your having a laugh. I can get the train From Euston to Holyhead then the boat home for roughly £45 single. Ireland is a joke.”

Conor Hoey said: “It would be nice if they stuck to the timetable and provided a proper service. Don’t know where they get their unrealistic stats from. Customer service is non-existent in Dublin. The rail system should be privatised. Can’t understand how they can run a monopoly.”

Frances Casey said:”Bloody disgrace, you can never get a seat on the 8am so you are paying exorbitant prices to stand. More times than not, 1st class have empty seats but ordinary paying joe soaps cannot use them.

Paul Quinn said: “I get the train every day and when my annual train ticket runs out I’ll be on the bus. Irish Rail are the worst public transport system in Europe, my train is late on a daily basis and prices have increased 40% in 5 years.”