Students finances are set to be hit again this month as a ten per cent increase is placed on public transport fares.
The National Transport Authority recently announced the hike in fares for users of Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann and Luas.
Fares on monthly, annual and tax-saver tickets were increased from November 1st, while fares for cash tickets, Leap Card and pre-paid tickets will go up from December 1st.
Fare increases have been blamed on a continuing weak economic environment, rising fuel prices and falling Public Service Obligation funding for socially necessary but financially unviable public transport services.
Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority, Gerry Murphy, has encouraged people to switch to using Leap Card for their day-to-day journeys as it is “substantially cheaper than cash”.
“A card like Leap makes it easier for users to hop on and pay for public transport -no scrambling for change or buying tickets”, he said.
According to DCU Students’ Union Welfare Officer, Lorna Finnegan, the SU help desk is always busy issuing Student Travelcards, which have the Leap Card built into them. “We try to encourage students to use the travel card because bus fares are always going up.”
Student transport is an important issue for the SU who have implemented several new initiatives to tackle rising costs for commuting students.
The National Transport Authority has been in close contact with DCU recently, as they are researching how best to improve cycle lanes around campus.
This contact sparked the idea for regular bicycle workshops. Rediscovery Centre workshops will be held on campus every four-to-six weeks over semester, providing a bicycle maintenance service as well as advice on how to maintain your own bicycle. There will also be some bicycles for sale.
On production of a DCU student card, free shower facilities are available in the Sports Complex until 10am each morning for anyone who walks or cycles to the university.
For those that drive, the SU has come up with a plan to tackle limited on-campus car parking space. CarShare.ie allows DCU students to arrange car sharing through their forum.
Another positive step is the introduction of a direct Malahide to DCU bus, which departs Malahide village at 7:45am each morning.
The weekly rate is €25.00 per person and is payable on Monday morning. It is currently a pilot initiative but if the demand is there it’s hoped the bus will become a permanent service.
‘Once the demand is there the SU will definitely try and get on board and back students up as much as possible,’ said Finnegan.
Users of Dublin Bus, meanwhile, will soon be able to avail of Real Time Information totems which are to be erected outside the Henry Grattan Building in the coming weeks.
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