Greens call for free bus fares for all essential workers
Green Party Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Joe O'Brien, has requested that the government introduce free fares on Bus Eireann services during the Covid-19 crisis to protect bus drivers and essential workers.
Deputy O’Brien said: “Across the country, in towns, villages, and cities, we have bus drivers who are very much on the front line and putting themselves at risk ensuring that other essential workers get from A to B in the battle against this crisis and that needs to be acknowledged. I support the recent call from the NBRU to consider fare-less public bus services.
"The difficulty with Bus Eireann’s buses is that many are not set up for cashless payments. So we have exchange of coins and notes between the driver and passenger in many cases.
"While protective measures are being taken there is still a health risk for the drivers. In the medium to long term the payment infrastructure on Bus Eireann buses needs to be upgraded to be able to accept cashless payment.
"In the short term, though I think the sensible option is to suspend fares for Bus Eireann services during the crisis, this will help to keep drivers safe. The reality of the situation is that there is little fare revenue being taken in at the moment and the health of the workers here is key."