Budget 2024 to Advance Fare Reduction and Build On Transport Services
The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, together with Minister Jack Chambers, announced an overall Budget 2024 of €3.5 billion for the Department for Transport next year. This budget includes several initiatives to facilitate the use of public transport and improve road infrastructure in Ireland.
Some of the key initiatives of Budget 2024 for transport include:
- Continuation of discounted rates for public transport: families and young adults will continue to benefit from cheaper rates for public transport. In particular, the 50% discount for holders of the “Young Card” was extended until their 26th birthday, instead of ending at 24 years.
- 20% reduction in fares for all: This temporary measure to reduce living costs has been extended for another year, making public transport more accessible.
- Road investment: EUR 937 million will be allocated for the maintenance and safety of Irish roads, along with funding for new road projects across the country.
- Improvement to public transport: Investments of approximately 220 million euros for bus projects and 200 million euros for the railroad. This will enable the implementation of new and improved services, as well as the purchase of buses and electric trains.
- Infrastructure for cycling and walking: 360 million euros will be allocated to infrastructure for cycling and walking, including projects such as cycle paths and pedestrian bridges.
- Road safety: 21 million euros will be allocated for road safety measures in response to the increase in fatal accidents on Irish roads.
The government is committed to making public transport more accessible, sustainable and safe, with the goal of reducing transport emissions by 50% by 2030, in accordance with the National Climate Action Plan.
The Minister of the Transport, Eamon Ryan, has expressed his satisfaction for the initiatives taken and has evidenced the ambition to continue to improve the rates and the services of public transport, with the aim of facilitating the movement of young people and reducing the environmental impact.
The 2024 Budget includes the following main points for transport:
Additional discounts for the Young Card, which offers a 50% discount on the rates of PSO and commercial services for young people aged 24 and 25, guaranteed for 2 years.20% discount on public transport for all PSO service.Introduction of a 90-minute ticket for PSO services for all users.
Walking and Cycling:
Allocated 360 million euros for infrastructure projects for walking and cycling through the Active Travel and Greenways Programs.
Purchase of 70 new double-decker electric buses to Dublin and supplies of storage facilities. Purchase of 101 new double-decker electric buses to cities outside Dublin, including Limerick, Galway and Cork. Financing for the acquisition of the Central Bus Corridors and the redesign of the network for BusConnects Cork.
Upgrading of Railways:
Installation of charging infrastructure at Drogheda railway station in preparation for the commissioning of the new DART electric battery trains in 2025. Protection and renewal of heavy rail network, renewal of bus/rail fleet and update of the stations.
Implementation of BusConnects Dublin with the purchase of new electric buses and the acquisition of the Central Bus Corridors. Start of the procedure of acquisition/construction of the Central Bus Corridors of Clongriffin and Blackrock, subject to obtaining a building permit. Progress of the Metrolink project, including the recruitment of key personnel.
Purchase of 101 double-decker electric buses for BusConnect programs in other cities, including Cork, Galway and Limerick. Continued implementation of new improved bus routes via BusConnects, Connecting Ireland and urban services. Progress of the Cork area commuter rail programme, including upgrading of railway signs and doubling the line from Glounthaune to Midleton. Completion of the construction of a crossing platform at Kent Station as part of the CACR project.
Emergency Transport Services:
A further 4 million euros has been allocated to meet the needs of emergency transport services for Ukrainian refugees.
Support and Expansion of Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles:
An appropriation of 102 million euros to promote electric vehicles, including subsidies and infrastructure measures to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and savings for consumers.
Support for Regional Airports:
Funding to support connectivity and development of regional airports, including Ireland West Knock, Donegal and Kerry.
Measures for Road Safety:
21 million euros for improvements to road safety, including interventions on dangerous crossing and a review of the examination programme for obtaining a driving licence.