There has been a call for the Department of Transport and Dublin City Council to “embrace” the concept of free public transport in the city.
Fianna Fail local election candidate for the North Inner City Denise McMorrow made the call, saying that the notion is an emerging global trend.
McMorrow said: “There is an emerging global trend towards free public transport.
“From this summer, Luxembourg will be the first EU country to provide free public transport for all its citizens. This initiative is something that those responsible for running our city need to consider.
“Our capital city is bursting at the seams and gridlock is a daily frustration for commuters.
“Free public transport would cut congestion, benefit the environment and, most importantly, it would be a progressive, socially-inclusive measure that would help low-paid workers and young people with little disposable incomes as a result of spiralling rents and bloated mortgages.”
Addressing concerns that free public transport would inflict an unaffordable charge on the Exchequer, McMorrow pointed out that transport in Dublin is already heavily subsidised.
She said: “In 1999, the government introduced the TaxSaver scheme, which incentivises people to use public transport to and from work, and, in some cases, results in savings of more than 50% of the regular ticket price.
“By going the whole way and abolishing ticket charges, the Government will help tackle air pollution and get Dublin moving more freely. Surely this is a worthwhile investment in our capital city’s future?”