Politicians in Cork have welcomed the confirmation of a timeline for the introduction of cheaper commuter rail fares on the Mallow to Cork rail line.
The Chief Executive of National Transport Authority (NTA) Anne Graham confirmed to Mallow TD Seán Sherlock that the NTA “aims to introduce a structure incorporating Mallow by mid-2022”.
“Implementation of a commuter rail fare structure is challenging when Exchequer funding for public transport has increased enormously due to the disastrous impact of Covid on passenger numbers and fare revenue.
Therefore the NTA aims to introduce a commuter rail fare structure incorporating Mallow by mid-2022,” Ms Graham said.
Deputy Sherlock said it was “a huge milestone for the campaign to introduce leap card fares for Mallow” and called on the Government to “fast track this with direct subvention”.
“I will be putting pressure on the Government to do just that. It is a welcome move, but we can do more, and do it faster,” he said.
Councillor Ian Doyle called for the implementation of a commuter rail fare structure to stretch as far as Charleville, saying that it would be “a huge benefit” to those in Charleville if the station was utilised.
“I do know that from a college point of view or even an industrial point of view from Charleville that it would be well used as well if it did come as far as Charleville, but that’s down the line I know,” he said.
Fine Gael councillor Tony O’Shea said that it is going to be students and people working in Cork who commute on a daily basis who will benefit from it as they will be able to travel “much cheaper”.
Echoing Councillor O’Shea’s comments, Fianna Fáil councillor Bernard Moynihan said that he welcomes the news as it will reduce pressure on the commuter and “encourages people to use the train”.
“Fares are very expensive at the moment so anything that helps reduce the pressure on the commuter, I like it,” he said.
Cllr Moynihan said while he would support the use of public transport, that he is a big supporter of working from home and the idea of blended working going forward under the current Covid-19 climate.