“The blame for this lies squarely with the National Transport Authority (NTA) which has, over the years, flooded the market with privately held operating licenses and strangled the national carrier. Bus Eireann, unlike other operators, has continued to supply much needed services during the current Covid-19 crisis and the NTA needs to recognise this and provide funding so that these services continue to provide safe and accessible transport for all its passengers. The threat to some of the most strategic bus transport routes in the country is short sighted, flawed and a kick in the teeth for workers and passengers,” John Murphy said.
“The NTA is responsible for ensuring connectivity of public transport across the country and the fact that some, but not all, of these routes have been given access to emergency funding during the Covid-19 pandemic clearly shows this was necessary. This funding will cease soon and Bus Eireann cannot continue to operate these services on a loss making basis. The NTA now needs to commit to funding all essential public transport services in the interests of passengers, staff and the wider community.
“While Bus Eireann has assured SIPTU representatives that this decision will not impact negatively on the job security of our members it will, if left unchallenged, severely disrupt passengers and connectivity.
“Our members are calling for an immediate intervention by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Eamon Ryan, to reverse this decision. SIPTU representatives will lobby extensively on this matter and will seek the support of those dependent on these services and the public representatives within the regions and areas affected.”