Transport Minister plans to cut private transport, says Laois TD

The transport minister is considering extending public transport discounts to private operators, a TD from Laois has said.

Laois/Offaly TD Charlie Flanagan said rural commuters deserve fair treatment when it comes to accessing discounted transport.

He noted that most rural commuters depend on private transport services which have yet to benefit from the cuts on public transport recently announced by the government.

MP Flanagan said: “The reductions on public transport are really welcome for commuters and will encourage people to leave the car at home at a time when fuel costs are rising. However, they are not benefiting the many rural commuters here in Laois, who rely on private services.

He argued that these discounts must be extended to private transport as soon as possible.

“Unless commuters are lucky enough to live close to a railway line or an Éireann bus route, transport fare reductions will not benefit them, and that will applies to large parts of our county,” said MP Flanagan.

“Rural Ireland is mainly served by private operators. In our area, JJ Kavanagh and other operators offer excellent services, but they cannot offer discounted rates to their customers when they are not included in this government initiative,” he explained.

MP Flanagan said: “I understand Minister Eamon Ryan intends to consider including private operators which is a positive step but Laois commuters really need clarity on a date for this now.”

He pointed out that: “People in rural Ireland are just as affected by the rising cost of living as those in cities. We must encourage commuters to leave the car at home, both for the good of their pocket and for the good of the environment. Rural commuters deserve fair treatment and I want to see the people of Laois being able to benefit from discounted transport as soon as possible.

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Melvin Z. Madore