Errors by the National Transport Authority hike fares
January 3rd 2014
Rail Users Ireland (RUI) condemns the failure of the National Transport Authority (NTA) to both acknowledge and rectify serious errors in the fare changes which came into force in December 2013.
The changes made by the National Transport Authority (NTA) were incomplete and as a result created a series of serious inconsistencies, resulting in significant fare increases for many journeys, despite the NTA intention to reduce fares from the affected stations.
For example, following the revision in December 2013, it is now cheaper to travel from Rush & Lusk to Grand Canal Dock than the shorter distance from Rush & Lusk to Dublin Pearse. Under Irish Rail's bye laws (SI 109 1984, section 6) it is deemed to be an act of fare evasion if a passenger purchases a ticket, but leaves the train at an earlier station where the fare is greater.
* Rush & Lusk-Pearse €5.70 adult single
* Rush & Lusk-Grand Canal Dock €4.35 adult single (photo of example tickets available)
* Rush & Lusk-Howth Junction €5.70 adult single
* Rush & Lusk-Kilbarrack €3.05 adult single
Upon discovery of these issues Rail Users Ireland immediately contacted both Irish Rail and the NTA to seek clarification. Rail Users Ireland acknowledges Irish Rail's prompt agreement that there are serious inconsistencies in the fares. Despite requests by Rail Users Ireland, the NTA have refused to issue any statement to communicate or explain the situation and have yet to confirm if or when these issues will be resolved. The NTA must formally confirm the change in writing, as a result Irish Rail cannot revise the fares as to do so would be a breach of its public service contract.
RUI spokesman Mark Gleeson said, "Sadly these changes fall into a common pattern, of no public consultation, fare revisions are proposed and then only partly undertaken. The only way to resolve the inconsistencies in Irish Rail's fare structure is to start with a clean sheet, ensuring that there is a direct relationship between the distance traveled and the fare charged".
People have been ripped off long enough by high fares, poor service and now the very organisation (NTA) which is supposed ensure a fair ticket price structure refuses to acknowledge its own mistakes.
Passengers are still subject to ridiculous situations where a single ticket can cost more than a return ticket. Further errors discovered by Rail Users Ireland show the NTA published different prices for the same ticket in its determination, of course the higher price is charged to the passenger.
Rail Users Ireland now calls for the follow actions
* That the National Transport Authority communicate and resolve this issue within one week, with a comprehensive revision be undertaken to eliminate all inconsistencies by the end of 2014.
* That for all future changes to fare zone and bands be subject to public consultation to ensure that the public can comment and that errors can be found and that issues arising can be dealt with.
* That Irish Rail issues a formal statement that it will not prosecute passengers under their bye law 6.
* That both Irish Rail and Leap Card shall retrospectively refund all passengers automatically where they were overcharged as a result of this issue.
Example of Rush & Lusk to Pearse/Grand Canal Dock tickets http://www.railusers.ie/resources/nta_goof_up_2014_1.jpg