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Budget 2023 Keeps Costs Down for Commuters and Ensures Transport Developments Continue at Pace

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, and Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton TD, have welcomed the overall allocation of €3.51 billion next year in Budget 2023 for the Department of Transport.

This year’s budget ensures that public transport across the country will remain cheaper for commuters and particularly younger people throughout the year.

It also provides for continued enhancements to the public transport network with the roll-out of new services through BusConnects and Connecting Ireland over the coming year, including the purchase of 41 new railcars and over 120 new buses. It also ensures that the ambitious walking and cycling programme already underway can forge ahead, so that more towns and villages are better connected, with safer and more accessible routes for everyone – from school children to older citizens.

The substantial investment in Transport this year means that the ambitious EV charging programme can be ramped up and major infrastructural projects such as Metrolink, DART+, BusConnects and the Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme will continue to progress. The budget overall means that people can look forward to more accessible, greener transport across the country and will help ensure that we move closer to meeting our emissions targets.

Here’s What Budget 2023 Will Make Possible

Cheaper Fares

• Retention of the 20% average fare discount on public transport fares throughout 2023.

• Continuation of the Young Adult Card including the expansion to 16, 17 and 18 year olds in third level education, so that they can also avail of half-price public transport fares.

New Fleet

• 41 new intercity railcars boosting peak capacity across intercity services nationally by 34%.

• 91 new double deck and 30 single deck electric vehicles for PSO fleets across the country.

Rail Enhancement

• Construction to start on the new DART station at Woodbrook on the Southeastern line.

• Continue to protect and renew the heavy rail network in a ‘steady state’ condition and enhance journey safety, comfort and reliability for passengers.

• Continued fit-out of the National Train Control Centre and re-commissioning works at Kishogue station.

• MetroLink will progress to phase 4 Statutory Process with Client Partner.


• Expanded and enhanced bus services through BusConnects including the roll out of the BusConnects Network Redesign in Dublin.

• Next Generation Ticketing under the BusConnects programme will progress to contract award stage.

• Final planning applications to go An Bord Pleanála for the Dublin BusConnects Core Bus Corridors and construction procurement for 4 corridors will get underway.

• Construction work on the Clongriffin corridor will start by late 2023.

Regional Development

• Continued roll out of new and enhanced bus routes through Bus Connects and Connecting Ireland.

• Construction of Phase 1 of the Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme. A Railway Order will be sought for double tracking of the line between Midleton and Glounthaune.

• Finalise the Emerging Preferred Route for the Cork Light Rail Transit and carry out a first round of public consultation on the proposals.

• Planning and design will progress on the preferred routes for the Sustainable Transport Corridors for BusConnects Cork, with a second round of public consultation.

• Redevelopment of Ceannt and Oranmore stations in Galway will continue.

• The North Quays Redevelopment project in Waterford will start construction in 2023, with the Department of Transport supporting the construction of a new pedestrian bridge across the River Suir.

Walking and Cycling

• Nearly €1m per day will be invested in walking and cycling projects with a Government commitment of €360 million per year in active travel nationwide including €60m for greenways.

Electric Vehicles Charging Roll-Out

• Continued funding to support the transition to electric vehicles including €110m for EV grants and charging infrastructure, which includes €8m in shared Island funding.

Supporting Regional Airports

• 2023 spending will also include almost €36 million in funding for our regional airports and the PSO air service between Donegal and Dublin.

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said, “retaining the 20% discount on public transport fares was a key priority for me because it provides immediate and everyday savings to hard pressed commuters and citizens. The expansion of the Youth Leap Card also means that public transport will now be cheaper for more young people.”

“We made big strides in 2022, with BusConnects, DART+ and Metrolink all entering the planning system and I am confident that these projects will continue to progress at pace through next year. I am particularly pleased that procurement is expected to commence for four key BusConnects Dublin core bus corridors, with the first corridor, Clongriffin to Fairview, earmarked to enter construction before the end of 2023. I am also pleased to see progress on the Cork Area Commuter Rail Programme, BusConnects Cork and redevelopment works at Ceannt and Oranmore Stations in Galway.”

“Throughout 2023, I will be working hard to ensure that we expand the coverage and frequency of our public transport network, during the day and also at night, with a particular focus on greatly improving our rural transport connectivity. I have already been in touch with all local authorities across the country to ask them to identify their Pathfinder projects in public transport and active travel. The Budget allocated for 2023 means that these programmes can be delivered at speed.”

“Transport is key to Ireland’s future development and sustainability, both to ensure that we can get around easily, cost effectively and safely, but also to ensure that we meet our emissions targets by 2030 and beyond. Overall, I am delighted that Budget 23 maintains the Programme for Government commitment to deliver a 2:1 ratio of expenditure between new public transport infrastructure and new roads.”

Minister Naughton commented, “the Regional Airports funding of almost €36 million demonstrates our ongoing commitment to supporting connectivity to the regions and enhancing balanced regional development as we continue to adapt to the world after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Regional Airports Programme will support Shannon, Ireland West, Donegal, and Kerry airports and the PSO service between Donegal and Dublin. Included, and in recognition of the important role of Cork Airport to the economy of the south region and nationally, capital funding of €6m will be provided to Cork Airport in 2023.”

“We will earmark almost €1 billion in protection and renewal of the road network and an additional €400 million in the construction of national and regional and local roads. Investing in and protecting our children’s daily journeys and encouraging the take up of walking, cycling and scooting to school is a project I am committed to delivering. I am delighted to confirm that the Safe Routes to School programme will continue to be funded into 2023. This forms part of this Government’s commitment to active travel and in 2023 we will continue to invest almost €1 million per day in walking and cycling projects across the country.”

“I am particularly pleased to have secured funding for research into how to encourage more women, particularly girls and adolescents, to choose cycling as a mode of regular transport, so that we can instil long-term habits that will benefit not just our environment but also the health and wellbeing of the women of tomorrow.”

“The haulage and logistics sector is one which has ensured that our supermarket shelves remained stocked, and our pharmacies were equipped with medicines and other key products continued to be available for families, communities and businesses across the country. They did so flawlessly as Ireland navigated the turbulent waters of Brexit and Covid 19. Earlier this year, Government put in place a significant support package for the haulage sector to help meet the increased costs of doing business and I hope to be in a position to announce further supports for our hauliers in the coming weeks.”


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