At Dublin’s Heuston Station
Jim Deegan, CEO of Railtours Ireland, told Sarah McInerney, on RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke show, that the free travel pass system in Ireland is “unsustainable” – arguing that up to 85 per cent of train services are full of people using such passes.
“Irish Rail are getting very, very little, a blanket payment of about €14million a year to Irish Rail to carry all free travel customers. And, of course, we’re not only talking about people who are over 66. We’re talking about a signifiant number of people of working age, who have free travel for various reasons.”
“Free travel is a wonderful thing and but it does need to be controlled and it needs to be regulated. We have a totally carte blanche system, total unrestriction [sic]. You can travel any time, as many times as you like for no charge whatsoever and that is a model that is unsustainable.
“And, for example, in Britain, you buy a travel card and you get a percentage of your travel for senior citizens.
“The prescription charge would be a good model, where you would put a nominal charge for every journey. At the moment, Irish Rail get about 70 cents per journey, which is unsustainable – for a company that’s trying to… you know, that’s pilloried by Government for constant losses.”
Éidín Ní Shé tweetz:
Lovely bit of ageism on Today with Sean O’Rourke at a time when older people are experiencing increase levels of isolation and loneliness suggestion we now ‘control’ free travel.
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