The National Transport Authority (NTA) has faced accusations of favoring privatisation of transport following its comments yesterday (28/2) that private operators can adequately cover all but one Bus Éireann Expressway routes currently facing closure.
Speaking in reaction to the NTA’s comments, Cllr. Éilis Ryan (Workers’ Party, North Inner City) said:
“In the context of an ongoing industrial dispute in which Bus Éireann workers have been forced to actively defend against forced cuts to pay and conditions, the NTA’s suggestion shows complete disregard for the rights of workers who provide public transport, and service users who rely on it. Private operators are actively undercutting these rights.
“Such blatant favoritism proves the NTA is not fit for purpose. For this reason, the Workers’ Party are calling for the NTA to be scrapped, and its functions transferred to the CIE holding company.”
The Workers’ Party councillor suggested that, regardless of the current position of private operators, inevitably privatisation would lead to cost hikes over time, saying:
“We have seen time and again that, when services are privatised, any initial agreement not to raise prices is thrown out the window a few years down the line. Eventually private transport operators will raise prices – and this cost will inevitably borne either by those who need public transport, or by the taxpayer through more subsidies from the state.”
Cllr. Ryan concluded:
“In many European countires, the holding company both regulate and provide public transport. In Paris, this system provides an infinitely more efficient public transport system than what the NTA delivers in Irish cities.”