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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Translink announces fare rises and urges customers to ‘save with good value ticket options’

Translink bus

Translink today (Thursday 23rd May) announced that following the decision by DfI to revise fares, most fares on Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus will be revised, effective from Monday 3rd June 2024.

This decision does not impact on Cross Border coach and rail fares.

The majority of passengers will see their fares increase by 6% on bus and 10% on rail.

Translink is encouraging customers to use the range of everyday value, discounted tickets and promotional fares available. Passengers are also encouraged to use contactless, mLink and multi-journey products to get a good deal. 25% discount will also continue to be available on travel after 9.30am on rail and Ulsterbus local services.

iLink cards also offer unlimited travel for various zones across the bus and train network.

Ian Campbell, Translink Director of Operations also highlighted discounts for young people:

“We are also maintaining the 50% discount along with free access to the yLink card for all 16 to 23 year olds. With over 60% more yLink journeys made over the last year, this special deal is helping many more young people to travel on bus and rail services, and make their money go further.

“We have also taken the opportunity to simplify Smartlink fares for Metro/Glider making it easier for our customers. Using Smartlink passengers will simply pay a £2 fare for any standard adult journey, saving for most people, over 10% compared to paying cash. The dayLink, mLink and contactless day tickets, will also move to £4.00 for all day travel.

“We remain confident that bus and train travel is still the most attractive and cost-effective travel choice especially when compared to increasing private motoring costs.

“Combined with the many wider health and wellbeing benefits of sustainable travel, it’s also an easy way we can all do our bit for the climate crisis and improve air quality for a better-connected society for all”, Ian concluded.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Peter McClenaghan, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability at the Consumer Council described the impact that the increases will have on consumers. He said:

“The announcement today that Translink is to increase its average fares by 6% for bus and 10% for rail is a blow for public transport users.

“This review comes on the back of an average 7% fare increase across all Translink services in March 2023 and rail fare increases in November 2023. It will disproportionately affect low-income passengers, who have no travel option other than public transport and who are already struggling with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

“Consumers will understand there has been an increase to the cost of operating the public transport network and this is exacerbated by the freeze on Northern Ireland Government public transport funding.

“Northern Ireland Government funding of public transport must be adequate to maintain as a minimum the current level of service, but also fund incentives to increase passenger numbers where possible. This fare increase contrasts with initiatives elsewhere, such as the £2 bus fare cap in England and the 20 per cent discount for passengers in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) that recognise the benefits of public transport to society and the environment.

“This Translink increase could restrict growth in the number of people using public transport and conflicts with Government policy to increase the number of people using public transport.

“We welcome Translink’s stated intention of moving to a flat fare in the Belfast Metro area as this is easier for passengers to understand. However, the introduction of some flat fares has resulted in some price increases above the average on certain ticket types. Therefore, we urge Translink to introduce solutions that would offset these price increases, such as a weekly cap on contactless payments, as soon as possible to help address

“Passengers across Northern Ireland should check that they are using the best value ticket for their needs. Reduced prices are available depending on how you pay for your ticket, or the type of ticket you buy, such as a weekly or monthly pass.”

• Most Metro/Glider cash singles will increase by 10p.

• Most Ulsterbus and Goldliner cash singles will increase between 10p and 50p depending on distance.

• Most rail cash singles will increase between 20p and £1.50 depending on distance.


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