The recent budget dictated that Irish rail and Dublin bus fares will increase by a minimum 10 per cent to “protect service delivery” the National Transport Authority (NTA) has announced.

The decision will see a rise in all public transport fares by an average of 10 %. The most drastic changes will take place on Dublin Bus Xpresso lines, generic with an increase in fares of 39%. The NTA released a statement claiming that the rise is “to protect service delivery at a time of reduced incomes”. In their request to the NTA, health Dublin Bus outlined how €2.1million will go towards the “service level increases to meet growing customer demand” with the bus company expected to get an additional €9 million in revenue from the proposed changes.

Meanwhile the increase to Irish Rail tickets will see a return journey on the commuter line increase from €31 to €34.65, while Bus Eireann ticket fares are set to increase by 6 to 7%.

These increases will also affect the day to day trips to and from campus with the popular “student rambler” bus ticket also expected to increase by at least 10 %. The 5 day ticket will rise from €18.30 to €20.00. The 30 day ticket will rise from €91.50 to €100. These rises in pre-paid bus tickets will not be implemented until 1st December. Tickets bought before the 1st December will not be affected by increase and will continue to be valid until December 2014. Students are being urged to invest in a student travel card as the card, costing 12 euro, is outlined to have the best savings after all the changes come into place.

Students have been outraged by these increases. Third year Arts student Emma Lane told the College Tribune “it’s an awful inconvenience that every year they go up, there’s never a year where they stay the same or go down, it’s a never ending thing and it’s frustrating as a person who depends on public transport every day.”

Students are also annoyed by the quality of services being so low when prices are increasing. Lesley Ring, also a third year Arts student added “I wouldn’t mind the increases as much if I thought the services was at all improving, but every year they remove more routes and just make life more difficult for everyone.” Third year Archaeology student Megan Kavanagh also added “I have to pay 3.05 euro to get into town, despite the fact my bus never arrives on time, completely disregards its timetable and disappears off the real time info. This means I regularly have to stand at a bus stop for over an hour.”

Further information on the fare increases can be found on www.nationaltransport.ie.

Kerry Sheridan