The ongoing dispute between Galway Coach Station management and bus operators, which has led to coaches using the road outside the coach station to pick up and drop off passengers has been criticised by Sinn Féin TD Mairead Farrell.
Deputy Farrell pointed out that these are private entities which are using an amenity that was built on public land with public funding, and that private commercial concerns are disrupting the provision of a necessary public service.
“For the last number of months, we have had a situation where a publicly-funded coach station has been lying idle while private entities which are meant to be providing a service to Galwegians and visitors argue over fees.
“As any private business would be, these operators are concerned about profits and viability. However, this coach station is supposed to be providing a public service to passengers, and it is the passengers and Galway residents who suffer the most when this service is not provided the way it should be,” she said.
“Public services like public transport should not be reliant on profits to function. This is the danger of privatising services that are vital to daily life.
“Galway Coach Station is built on public lands and has a 999 year lease to operate on that site. It only opened in 2008 and already it is struggling to function as intended. This is not good enough – the people of Galway deserve this public service,” Deputy Farrell concluded.