Tag Archives: free travel pass

At Dublin’s Heuston Station

This morning.

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.

He said:

“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.”

He added:

“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.

Listen back in full here