Hidden Fare Increases
July 11th 2008
Rail Users Ireland has filed a complaint with the Department of Transport following a recent increase in fares on the Dublin Sligo route for certain journeys. Fares have increased by 11% in the last year on the standard single ticket, an increase of only 5% was authorised.
The CIE Group of companies must apply to the Department of Transport for any increase in the standard single fare. This application is generally made in the last quarter of the year, and if authorised applies from the end of the first week of January. Only one increase per year is permitted. in light of increases on the Sligo line Rail Users Ireland asks the question does Irish Rail have approval for these increases?
We find an increase of 13.7% in two cases compared to the fares of 2007; an average increase of only 5% was approved, which the January 2008 increases comply.
|Dublin Sligo||2007||Jan 2008||July 2008||Increase|
|Saver Day Return||€25.50||€27.00||€29.00||13.7%|
We at Rail Users Ireland find no justification for an increase in fares, in particular we note:
- Journey times Dublin Sligo show only marginal (5 minutes) improvement compared to the times of 1973, reductions in journey time promised in the investment program have not been realised.
- Despite the availability of sufficient new trains two services per day are still operated by unsuitable commuter railcars.
- The new fleet of trains deployed on the Sligo line are cheaper to run in terms of fuel, maintenance and staffing costs compared to the locomotive hauled trains they replaced.
- The 4 week moving reliability average for the 4 weeks ending July 6th was 98.6%, reliability for the single week of June 30th - July 6th was 94.3%. The target agreed with the DoT is 98%.
Update Friday 18th July: The Department of Transport has begun an investigation following our complaint.