This is according to Dublin South West Minister Katherine Zappone who said an extensive information campaign is needed to assure bus passengers on routes 76, 76a, 175 and 75 that the switch to a new operator will not lead to increased fares or reduced services.
The Independent Minister is welcoming guarantees that free travel passes will be honoured by the new ‘Go-Ahead’ services and that fares cannot be increased without the go-ahead of the regulator.
However Minister Zappone says an information campaign is needed to assure loyal passengers, in particular older people and young families, that they will not be out of pocket as a result of the switch away from Dublin Bus.
Minister Zappone added:
“Our communities in Dublin South West will see some of the biggest changes as local bus routes switch from Dublin Bus to Go-Ahead. It is arguably the biggest shake up in services since Dublin Bus was established over 30-years ago.
“Dublin Bus and its crews are the lifeblood of our communities – and will continue to be on many other routes serving Tallaght.
“The reasoning behind the switch in operator has been explained and debated many times. However as it now becomes a reality it is important that passengers are kept fully informed.
“I have been assured by Transport Minister Shane Ross and the National Transport Authority that passengers should not be out of pocket or see reduced services because of the move.”
The Minister added passengers have nothing to fear as Go-Ahead cannot increase fares without the Transport Authority’s permission.
“Free travel passes will continue to be honoured on the 76, 76a, 175 and 75 routes after Go-Ahead starts operating.
“In addition there can be no increase in fares without permission of the Transport Authority – this is in line with current arrangements on Dublin Bus and Luas.
“Passengers must be assured of these guarantees before Go-Ahead busses start to roll at the end of next year.
“During the change-over process and once operations begin it is important that the service is kept under constant review.
“Across Dublin demand for public transport is increasing. It is vital that our local routes do not fall behind no matter who is operating them.
“For many people daily life, shopping and working would be impossible without the bus. It is a vital service for the community which must continue.”