Senator hits out at 'outrageous' bus prices for west Cork passengers

Senator hits out at 'outrageous' bus prices for west Cork passengers

“Leap Cards do provide a 30% reduction, but when users are only getting a few cent change from €20 it hardly seems worth it." Picture: Denis Minihane.

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard hit out at the high price passengers face saying the cash price for an adult travelling only one way from Bantry to Cork city is €19.

“Bus tickets in West Cork are still extremely expensive," he said.

“While the introduction of the Green Zone – providing cheaper fares for regular commuters as far as Bandon and Kinsale – is a welcome development, nothing has been done to reduce the significant cost of travelling to and from further west.

“Leap Cards do provide a 30% reduction, but when users are only getting a few cent change from €20 it hardly seems worth it. Using a Leap Card to get from Clonakilty to Cork and back will still cost €19.60 – the cash price for this return journey ticket is €22. To add insult to injury, these prices do not include further bus use in and around the city.

“I appreciate that there are some cost-saving options, but not enough is being done to provide affordable public bus services for West Cork commuters.”

Mr Lombard also criticised what he said are the "impracticalities of the current bus service.

“One example is the Leap Card top-ups; in Cork, the only top-up options are via the Android app or to go to a pay-zone agent, of which there are only a couple in the entire West Cork region," he said.

"Bus patrons are consistently recommended to top up online, but this method still requires the credit to be loaded onto the Leap Card – which, for Bus Éireann users in Cork, can only be done at a payzone agent or through the (android only) app, thus negating the usefulness of online top-ups.

“Another way to improve the bus services would be to reduce the frequent delays. The bus in Kinsale, for example, is often delayed by up to 20 minutes during summer due to the high tourist numbers purchasing tickets, or printing online purchases, through the bus driver."

"I have repeatedly asked Bus Éireann if a ticket machine could be installed in the town to reduce these delays but have always been refused with no suitable, alternative solution being presented.

Mr Lombard said we should be encouraging increased use of our bus services by making it an economically viable and practical option for commuters.

“We must make our public services accessible, and I intend to see prices reduced."

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