Inaction on transport fares fueling cost of living crisis
- IPCC report highlights need for robust transport infrastructure
Labour Kildare South Senator Mark Wall has questioned government’s commitment to making meaningful change for commuters under pressure from the rising cost of living. With runaway costs in food, energy and housing, Senator Wall said the failure of government to tackle transport costs highlights government’s reluctance to grasp the nettle on the cost of living.
Senator Wall said:
“Despite the changes promised by government in the budget, the majority of commuters continue to experience the burden of the enormous cost of public transport. Government’s tinkering at the edges in February through a 20% reduction in transport fees was essentially wiped out immediately, given that fares had recently increased. People travelling for school, further education, to work or to caring responsibilities continue to feel pressure in their purse, with no clear solution forthcoming from government.
“Similarly the Youth Travel Card which was tacked on at the end of budget proposals remains undelivered. Young people continue to feel the burden of increased prices. Many students in particular who were unable to move out of home due to rent prices are now paying enormous transport fees instead.
“While government is keen to invest in electric car grants and charging points, what we really need to see is greater investment in public transport to tackle the affordability crisis as well as ensuring we are on track with our climate commitments. The IPCC report issued this week is yet another reminder of the clear need to change people’s behaviour to opt for public transport rather than private vehicles.
“We know the power of the State when it is mobilised. Commuters need to see action on transport costs. As many people continue to barely get by, we need a commitment from government that they will deliver affordable and sustainable transport options for the many commuters in this country.”