Senator Zappone: “Transport hikes must not ruin Christmas trade, urgent action needed.”

29.10.2014

Transport fare hikes must not ruin Christmas trade Family discounts and availability of LEAP cards at all Park and Rides crucial

Statement by Senator Katherine Zappone

Action is needed to ensure that the increase in public transport fares does not jeopardise the Christmas shopping trade and jobs dependent on the busiest period of the year, according to Senator Katherine Zappone.

The Senator is calling for special measures to ensure families do not have to dig deeper for festive trips to Shopping Centres, Dublin City Centre and the many Christmas villages and markets planned by communities across the LUAS, Dublin Bus and DART networks.

She argues that public transport has a huge role to play in ensuring a successful season for many businesses throughout the Dublin area.

Senator Zappone added: “With the first of the fare increases coming into force this weekend and others following on December 1st it is the worst possible timing for traders hoping to use Dublin’s public transport network to attract families back to their shops after years of recession.

Immediate measures which should be considered include

• The introduction of ‘kids go free’ weekends in December on all public transport to lessen the burden on families and allow them to enjoy the festivities without having to dig deeper into their pockets

• LEAP Card machines to be installed at all Park and Rides so as families using them are not forced to pay the higher cash fares - at present the Leap Card website tells users of the Red Cow Park and Ride that the nearest location to buy a LEAP card requires crossing the M50

These measures not only make sense in terms of generating trade and securing jobs but will also be a welcome gesture of goodwill to families who for the rest of the year will bear the brunt of fare increases announced with little or no notice."

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