FREE buses should be introduced across the city, councillors have urged.
Councillor Ted Tynan (Workers’ Party) has received the backing of his fellow councillors to call on the Government to introduce a pilot scheme of free bus transport throughout the city.
Similar schemes are in place in Dunkirk, in France, Tallinn, in Estonia, and throughout Luxembourg. The latter will become the first country in the world to make all its public transportation free of charge, from this summer. Beijing gives free bus travel to people who recycle plastic bottles, while Istanbul offers travel card top-ups to commuters who recycle waste.
Mr Tynan said free public transportation in the city would reduce the number of cars causing traffic congestion.
“There are far too many private cars entering the city centre. Something needs to be done about it and we have an opportunity, with the increased Bus Éireann services, that we would call on the Government, as a pilot scheme, to introduce free bus services in Cork,” he said.
“It has been a huge success in other countries. I think this is a solution to a healthy city. People would be more likely to jump on the bus to get to the city centre and leave their cars at home,” he added.
Tim Brosnan (FF) said: “I support it fully and I think there would be nobody bringing cars into the city, if there were free buses.”
According to Thomas Gould (SF), the example set by other large European cities could be replicated in Cork and is not far-fetched.
“What they do in other countries is that people bring back recycling and they get free tickets and credit for public transport. These initiatives are all over the world. They are happening now in major international cities,” he added.
City Hall manager, Ann Doherty, recently said public transport is the only way to reduce gridlock in the city.
Many of the choked arteries are over-capacity; the South Ring has 87,000 vehicles every day.
Significant increases have also been seen on many other parts of the road network, including the tunnel and Little Island interchange.