The introduction of €1 fares on buses in Galway city for July has been hailed as “a huge success”, according to Social Democrats Galway West General Election candidate Niall Ó Tuathail, who has called for the low fare period to be extended.
Mr Ó Tuathail said that since the €1 fare was introduced, he had noticed “a huge increase in bus passengers”. It is understood that the low fair trial was an attempt to prepare the public to switch from cash to Leap cards.
He said reduction of fares should continue, but that this should happen in tandem with increased frequency and availability of bus services and the provision of better quality bus stops.
“A full bus takes the space of three cars but takes about 50 cars off the road,” he said. “Alongside providing safe cycle lanes, buses are going to be a very important short-term step to reduce traffic congestion in Galway and is good for everyone, including car drivers.”
Regarding the financing of public transport investments, Ó Tuathail said that while such measures would cost money in the short term, they would work out as long term savings.
“The alternative is government spending even more on new roads, traffic calming measures, and emission taxes, while families pay thousands of euros to keep multiple cars on the road as well as spending precious time stuck in traffic,” he said. “The Government is going to have to spend money to save money as well as reducing the cost of living for Galwegians and improving our quality of life.”