Consumer Council issues advice as Translink passengers to see fares increase on bus and rail journeys

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Most fares on Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus will be revised from Monday, June 3, Translink has announced.

The majority of passengers will see their fares increase by 6 percent on bus and 10 percent on rail following a decision by the Department of Infrastructure (DfI) to revise fares.

The decision does not impact on cross border coach and rail fares.

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The public transport provider is encouraging customers to use the range of everyday value, discounted tickets and promotional fares, with more details available at www.translink.co.uk/faresrevision

Translink has announced that most fares on Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus will be revised, effective from Monday June 3.  Photo: Brian MorrisonTranslink has announced that most fares on Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus will be revised, effective from Monday June 3.  Photo: Brian Morrison
Translink has announced that most fares on Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus will be revised, effective from Monday June 3. Photo: Brian Morrison

Ian Campbell, Translink Director of Operations also highlighted discounts for young people: “We are also maintaining the 50% discount along with free access to the yLink card for all 16 to 23 year olds. With over 60% more yLink journeys made over the last year, this special deal is helping many more young people to travel on bus and rail services, and make their money go further.

“We have also taken the opportunity to simplify Smartlink fares for Metro/Glider making it easier for our customers. Using Smartlink passengers will simply pay a £2 fare for any standard adult journey, saving for most people, over 10% compared to paying cash. The dayLink, mLink and contactless day tickets, will also move to £4.00 for all day travel.

“We remain confident that bus and train travel is still the most attractive and cost-effective travel choice especially when compared to increasing private motoring costs."

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Passengers can find out more about the best ticket for their travel needs at www.translink.co.uk/faresrevision

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Peter McClenaghan, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability at the Consumer Council described the announcement as a “blow” for public transport users.

He added: “This review comes on the back of an average 7 percent fare increase across all Translink services in March 2023 and rail fare increases in November 2023. It will disproportionately affect low-income passengers, who have no travel option other than public transport and who are already struggling with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

"Consumers will understand there has been an increase to the cost of operating the public transport network and this is exacerbated by the freeze on Northern Ireland Government public transport funding.

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"Northern Ireland Government funding of public transport must be adequate to maintain as a minimum the current level of service, but also fund incentives to increase passenger numbers where possible. This fare increase contrasts with initiatives elsewhere, such as the £2 bus fare cap in England and the 20 per cent discount for passengers in the Republic of Ireland that recognise the benefits of public transport to society and the environment. This Translink increase could restrict growth in the number of people using public transport and conflicts with Government policy to increase the number of people using public transport.

"We welcome Translink’s stated intention of moving to a flat fare in the Belfast Metro area as this is easier for passengers to understand. However, the introduction of some flat fares has resulted in some price increases above the average on certain ticket types. Therefore, we urge Translink to introduce solutions that would offset these price increases, such as a weekly cap on contactless payments, as soon as possible to help address this.”

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