Transport provision in Ireland has become little more than a means to help big business. Public transport is increasingly being controlled by private operator. Transport infrastructure are privately procured and in many cases privately operated and end up costing the public far more in the long term.
We call for:
- Re-nationalisation of all public transport which has been privatised;
- The halving of all public transport fares around the country;
- Expansion of suburban rail services and light-rail systems in regional cities;
- An end to Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contracts in the delivery of transport infrastructure;
- An end to the procurement of basic transport construction works from the private sector.
Successive Irish governments have seen public transport as anything more than something to cut and privatise. We are continuously told that public transport operators are ‘loss-making’ which suggests that they should be making a profit. Public transport is a public service which should not be run to make a profit. Where made, profits from public transport should be re-invested in the services.
It is crucial in the fight against climate change that there is a drastic shift from car transport to public transport. If Ireland is to succeed in cutting carbon emissions, public transport needs to be seriously enhanced all over the country.
Instead of cutting public transport, People Before Profit would put an emphasis on improving availability and accessibility of public transport. We view transport infrastructure as something that should exist for the public good and not for private profit. It is impossible to measure the enormous benefit to society – both economically and socially – that a properly funded and managed transport system can bring. For this reason public transport needs to be preserved and maintained regardless of whether it is loss-making or not.