Translink Announces Bus And Rail Fare Increases

Translink NI has announced fare increases on bus and rail services from Monday 03 June.

The public transport provider has announced an increase its average fares by 6% for bus and 10% for rail.

According to reports, Metro ticket prices will increase by an average of 10p, with Ulsterbus and Goldliner tickets potentially increasing by as much as 50p. Rail fares could increase from between 20p and £1.50 for single tickets.

The Consumer Council has described the fare increases as "a blow for public transport users".

The council's Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability said: "This review comes on the back of an average 7% fare increase across all Translink services in March 2023 and rail fare increases in November 2023. It will disproportionately affect low-income passengers, who have no travel option other than public transport and who are already struggling with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

"Consumers will understand there has been an increase to the cost of operating the public transport network and this is exacerbated by the freeze on Northern Ireland Government public transport funding.
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"Northern Ireland Government funding of public transport must be adequate to maintain as a minimum the current level of service, but also fund incentives to increase passenger numbers where possible. This fare increase contrasts with initiatives elsewhere, such as the £2 bus fare cap in England and the 20 per cent discount for passengers in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) that recognise the benefits of public transport to society and the environment. This Translink increase could restrict growth in the number of people using public transport and conflicts with Government policy to increase the number of people using public transport.

"We welcome Translink's stated intention of moving to a flat fare in the Belfast Metro area as this is easier for passengers to understand. However, the introduction of some flat fares has resulted in some price increases above the average on certain ticket types. Therefore, we urge Translink to introduce solutions that would offset these price increases, such as a weekly cap on contactless payments, as soon as possible to help address this.

"Passengers across Northern Ireland should check that they are using the best value ticket for their needs. Reduced prices are available depending on how you pay for your ticket, or the type of ticket you buy, such as a weekly or monthly pass."

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