Monday, April 16, 2007

€1 Bus fare

The election may still not have been called but for months now the political parties have been coming out with all kind of promises as part of their attempt to buy the votes of the Irish public. Most of these promises are daft, big bang, headline grabbing ideas like slashing the tax rate, scrapping stamp duty, providing hundreds of new hospital beds in every town or building Luas lines down every road in Dublin, Cork and Galway. The more they promise, the less we will actually get.

Today someone has promised something that made me think, "Oh? Well that makes sense!". Labour has proposed the introduction of a standard €1 euro fare on Dublin Bus. That's a good simple idea and should be easy to introduce after the election, assuming of course that they provide extra buses to meet demand. Public transport has never been high on the priority of the Irish Government. Projects like the Luas start big and end small, serving a minimum number of people at a maximum cost to the tax payer and the user. Meanwhile for private car transport it seems like there has never been a town that couldn't be bypassed or a motorway that couldn't be expanded.

I'll admit that one little proposal makes me more likely to throw a vote towards a Labour candidate than any number of tax cut or stamp duty bandwagon proposals. Now that everyone involved in the election has promised the same set of big give aways we may see small realistic items more likely to impact people on a day to day basis.

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