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Unread 24-07-2012, 15:39   #1
karlr42
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Default CIE given €36m extra funding to protect public transport

http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0724/cie...transport.html

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The Cabinet has authorised the Department of Transport to allocate an extra €36m to CIE immediately to protect public transport services.

It is unclear to what extent rail and bus services have been at risk to warrant the extra allocation.
Are things really this dire that emergency cash injections are becoming necessary just to cover current costs?
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Unread 24-07-2012, 15:54   #2
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Its unclear who the money is for, but I would be guessing its to cover the once off redundancy costs as the group tries to shed several hundred staff.

Day to day I know revenue is actually up in some areas and products within Irish Rail but at the same time, fairly major cuts in subvention.

The 36 million basically reverses the subvention cut for this year
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Unread 24-07-2012, 17:00   #3
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The full press release is here: http://www.transport.ie/pressRelease.aspx?Id=603

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“We have had to reduce funding from other areas of the Department in order to increase the subvention. This will involve cutbacks or deferrals in capital spending in the areas of sport, tourism, other areas of public transport, smarter travel, and maritime operations.
Wonderful.
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Unread 24-07-2012, 17:20   #4
Mark Gleeson
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Alternatively the department of social protection could actually pay a market price for the free travel scheme

700,000 passes, annual budget 70 odd million, only 100 euro per pass

Irish Rail passenger numbers actually are fairly stable, between 37 and 38 million, Dublin Bus is in serious trouble on that front, but then again Dublin Bus lost passengers even in the boom time while Irish Rail climbed massively

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 24-07-2012 at 17:22.
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Unread 25-07-2012, 12:55   #5
Thomas J Stamp
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Its an insteresting situation. The minister has cut the subsidy and was intent on further cutting it. Note, this is one of the lowest public transport subsidies in Europe and is probably directly the reason why prople give out about their lousy bus service. Anyway, cutting the sub means, in effect, running the service out of the fare box. Is that in any way possible? No, its not. Not unless there is a massive round of cost cutting. In effect, if you are to phase out the sub you have to, gradually, bring in €280 million in cuts. Even if the sub was to be reduced in half - €140 million. Where can you do that without impacting on services?

Minister Leo was on Morning Ireland today and he seemed to suggest that the 5% rise of fares this year had produced a bigger knock on than had been projected. Someone in CIE/DoT in the financial planning department may be in for a kick in the backside.

What we do not know is what part of this money is heading to the Rail Company. There has been rumours about the bus company, and in particular, BAC, running out of cash. As Mark says, passenger numbers have held up in IE, and fares are higher, so it proabably isnt IE this time, although the need to find the cash to make savings in IE has hit the CIE accounts head on.

What this does show, however, is that it does not take long in raising fares/cutting the subsidy to wash away the topsoil of the company and hit the bedrock. Fares going up will drive more punters away, cutting the sub will hit services and drive punters away increasing losses and a need for more sub, which will not happen, and so we are into a perfect storm.

What has to happen is for all of CIE to try and sell every single seat as often as it can. It is not doign this, but it must find a way to do it. Being a state company it doesnt seem to have the marketing imagination of a Ryanair. Even if an early morning seat is €1, its still one euro more then not being sold at all. Yes, I am aware of the webfares promotions. The thing is - how many out there are not aware of them???
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Unread 25-07-2012, 13:03   #6
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http://www.rte.ie/news/2012/0725/bus...-varadkar.html
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Leo Varadkar cannot rule out CIÉ bus or rail fare increases
Updated: 13:51, Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has said that he cannot rule out increases in fares on CIÉ buses and trains.

The Government announced yesterday that it is to increase its subvention to CIÉ by €36 million this year.

Mr Varadkar said there was a need to be very sensitive about fare increases.

Fares had already gone up this year and there were increases planned for next year and the year after, but there were no immediate plans to implement those increases, he added.

The minister said there was some evidence that higher fares lead to a reduction in the number of people travelling.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Varadkar said the monopoly contracts for Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus were up for renewal in 2015, and the Government would be considering opening up some of the routes to the private sector.

Mr Varadkar also said the Government would not be making any decision on its response to Ryanair's latest bid for Aer Lingus until at least September.
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Unread 25-07-2012, 13:57   #7
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Don't know why Leo even bothered to say anything. We all know there is an annual increase in fares, we are well used to it by now. He could have just kept his mouth shut and avoided the bad press.

What he should be saying instead is what exactly the extra funding is for. The lack of transparency is unacceptable. Most people in the know seem to agree it's to pay redundancy, but why should we have to guess like that? Why can't they just flat out say what the extra subvention is needed for? Is it because there is no actual specific destination for the money and CIE just threw a tantrum at the loss of subvention and are in fact financially unable to continue operating services? I don't think that is the case at all, but by not telling us they invite that kind of speculation.

Last edited by karlr42 : 25-07-2012 at 14:01.
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Unread 25-07-2012, 14:29   #8
Thomas J Stamp
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well, €21 million was spent on voluntary redundancies in IE according to the 2010 report, and they had a cut in the sub of €15.5 million and a loss in fares of €7.4 - thats €43 million less to play with last year.

a further cut in the sub, another €15 mill to find for this years vol redundancies and losses in fares (we dont know how much) and you are looking at an €70million turnaround in two years. There will be benefits in relation to not paying those who have been let go, and other savings.
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Unread 25-07-2012, 14:41   #9
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It may be the case that CIE understimated the effect of recent fare increases on demand. I don't know how sophisticated their modelling of demand is, but if they had simply relied on rules-of-thumb based on past experience, then I can see how they might have got it wrong.

It's one thing to look at the effect of a 5% fare increase when money (and maybe real) incomes are increasing, as they generally were up to 2008-9. But it's entirely different if the trend of income is downwards, which it has been recently. It's not rocket science: if people have less money then fare inreases can be pretty disasterous.
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Unread 25-07-2012, 17:19   #10
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The other factor that they are possibly modeling very badly is the very effective competition provided by private bus operators. Citylink provide an hourly or more frequent service from Galway to Dublin which beats the train in time and goes to the actual city centre - or airport. And this is at a significant discount to the train. Many other routes have buses that are faster than the train.

When money is tight, people are willing to try the alternatives and if they offer a reasonable service at a significantly cheaper price, then people will stick with them. With Irish Rail offering luxury prices and Ryanair customer service, who is going to stick with them when there are alternatives available?
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Unread 25-07-2012, 20:14   #11
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How exactly is €11.99 a luxury price?
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Unread 26-07-2012, 09:20   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Howard View Post
...When money is tight, people are willing to try the alternatives and if they offer a reasonable service at a significantly cheaper price, then people will stick with them. With Irish Rail offering luxury prices and Ryanair customer service, who is going to stick with them when there are alternatives available?
IR's price structuring is more like Ryanair's and their customer service is actually quite good. I am going to stick with them. And Bus Eireann. And Dublin Bus.
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Unread 26-07-2012, 09:29   #13
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Originally Posted by Thomas Ralph View Post
How exactly is €11.99 a luxury price?
Not all IR tickets between Dublin and Galway are €11.99. I searched Dublin - Galway return for the next 2 weeks and couldn't find anything cheaper than €14.99 each way. CityLink is always €9.50 each way.
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Unread 26-07-2012, 12:25   #14
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http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...?via=frontpage
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Separately, Irish commuters are facing a hike in bus and rail fares of about 6 per cent.

A CIÉ spokesman confirmed yesterday that it had held “initial discussions” with the National Transport Authority about fare increases for Iarnród Éireann, Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann for 2013.

However, he declined to comment on the level of increase being sought. “Both the level and the timing would be a matter for the NTA,” he said.

The Irish Times has learned that CIÉ is seeking a 6 per cent rise in its fares revenue, which could yield it an additional €4 million.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet approved emergency funding of €36 million for CIÉ to bolster its finances against a backdrop of declining passenger traffic and higher fuel prices.

CIÉ has also committed to selling assets to raise additional finance.

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said yesterday he could not rule out an increase in CIÉ fares but added that no rise had been agreed.
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Unread 26-07-2012, 12:36   #15
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They were having initial discussions in March on this, nothing new.

It looks like an attempt to determine a multi annual fare increase program, i.e. the fares will go up on a certain date once a year to a set formula
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Unread 26-07-2012, 13:30   #16
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From the Indo.. http://www.independent.ie/national-n...r-3180651.html


Quote:
Commuters face second rail and bus fare hike this year
RAIL and bus fares are set to rise again by as much as 6pc across the board, the Irish Independent has learned.

The move comes on top of rail fare increases of up to 13pc earlier this year and a massive drop in commuters using public transport. CIE has applied to the National Transport Authority (NTA ) for a 6pc increase across all services provided by Iarnrod Eireann, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann. If the full increase sought is granted it would bring the price of a 30-day return rail ticket from Dublin to Cork up from €77 to more than €81. A CIE spokesman confirmed last night that it was in discussions with the NTA in relation to a proposed fares increase in the context of the fare structure for 2013.

However, the timing and amount of the increase would be a matter for the authority, the spokesman added.

The move follows a Government decision to increase its subvention to CIE by €36m this year.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar yesterday refused to rule out any fare increases, but stressed there was a need to be very sensitive about the issues. Fares had already gone up this year and there were increases planned for 2013 and 2014, but there were no immediate plans to implement those increases, he added.

Evidence

The minister said there was some evidence that higher fares led to a reduction in the number of people travelling. A massive drop in passenger numbers on bus and rail services is a key reason for the perilous financial position of the CIE group of companies.

The power to set and award fare increases has been handed over to the NTA.
In February, inter-city rail users were hit by fare increases of up to 13pc after a decision to radically overhaul the pricing structure. The current system for intercity trains is complicated, with different fares for different regions and different days. While a number of fares actually fell, most increased and a handful remained the same. For example, a single trip from Heuston, Dublin, to Sallins, Co Kildare, increased 9.72pc from €7.20 to €7.90. The biggest increase of 13.3pc was announced at the start of the year for journeys from Longford town to Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim; Tullamore, Co Offaly, to Athlone, Co Westmeath; and Woodlawn, Co Galway, to Galway town.

Last February, the NTA also approved an application to increase prices on Dublin Bus pre-paid tickets by an average of 5.6pc. A 30-day Rambler student card increased by 4.9pc from €82 to €86. The planned increase would add €5 to the cost.

- Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent

Last edited by Kilocharlie : 26-07-2012 at 13:33.
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Unread 26-07-2012, 14:34   #17
Thomas J Stamp
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thats a very misleading headline, the fares are not going up this year.

anyway

minister v has stated that the private bus companies have hit the rail numbers. presumably this is anecdotal evidence as i am not aware of any surveys being done, that said we are not idiots its bound to have happened.

so, the ball is back in the CIE court. looking for the 6% rise is akin to double faulting.
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Unread 26-07-2012, 16:23   #18
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Quote:
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Not all IR tickets between Dublin and Galway are €11.99. I searched Dublin - Galway return for the next 2 weeks and couldn't find anything cheaper than €14.99 each way. CityLink is always €9.50 each way.
This was exactly the search I did. I did a quick search yesterday for going out Saturday and back Sunday and got the same prices.

On customer service, I don't actually get any on the services I use. The up-train has a ticket collector between Mullingar and Maynooth and both of the guys who man this are perfectly pleasant. The down train never has a ticket collector. There is a trolley on the up-train normally operated by either a nice girl or a very grumpy man.

I didn't even use my local station as an example - if you are going for the day it is reasonable but a standard open return from Edgeworthstown to Connolly is €32.50. They will usually do you a monthly return saver for something €28 (or sometimes €24). There is no ticket machine, so web fares are unavailable.

To suggest that increasing this fare is going to increase revenue in recessionary times is just stupid. It will be interesting to see what the traffic is like during the horse show this year. It was seriously down last year.
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Unread 29-07-2012, 01:34   #19
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Quote:
The minister said there was some evidence that higher fares led to a reduction in the number of people travelling.
Well duh!

That is like saying I know my house is on fire, let’s extinguish it with some old tyres and that canister of petrol, though we have some evidence that it will fuel it but meh.

If brains were taxed, he would get a refund for that sentence.
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Unread 29-07-2012, 22:29   #20
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Well duh!

That is like saying I know my house is on fire, let’s extinguish it with some old tyres and that canister of petrol, though we have some evidence that it will fuel it but meh.

If brains were taxed, he would get a refund for that sentence.
Except isn't CIE reporting a massive drop in passengers has already happened?
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