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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 09:27 GMT
NI rail and bus fares to increase
Translink fleet of buses
Bus fares will increase by 2% from 28 March
Rail and bus fares across Northern Ireland are set to increase from next week.

Transport company Translink says it has tried to keep the increases to a minimum despite the recent rise in the cost of fuel.

Metro and Ulsterbus tickets will rise by 2% while Northern Ireland Railways fares will increase by 5% from Monday.

There has been no price increase on the company's flagship Enterprise service to Dublin and Smartlink cards.

Translink marketing executive Ciaran Rogan said passenger numbers on rail services were increasing and bus passengers were "responding well" to the new Metro system introduced in the Greater Belfast area in January.

"The level of increase we are talking about is actually very, very low and we have worked hard to keep it as low as possible," he said.

We would encourage passengers to look at the Smartlink card because there are a lot of savings to be had out there
Alan Walker
Consumer Council for NI

"People are starting to see the improvements that we are making on the ground such as the Gold Line network, improved frequency, and the Metro network in Belfast."

Alan Walker, of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland said the fare increases could be avoided if passengers switched to multi-journey tickets.

"For example on the Metro someone who travels across Belfast to work every day and is paying 4.80 a day, if they switch to a weekly ticket they could save over 500 a year," he said.

'Savings'

"That is not an insignificant sum and what we are saying to passengers is don't put this money into someone else's pocket, keep it in your own pocket by thinking about the fare you are paying and change it."

Mr Walker urged passengers to use Translink's prepaid Smartlink system, which offers a 25% reduction in fares.

The plastic multi-journey card, which costs an initial 1.50, can be topped up to a maximum of 10 journeys and is currently in use on both the Metro and Ulsterbus services.

"We would encourage passengers to look at the Smartlink card, particularly if they are making daily journeys, because there are a lot of savings to be had out there, up to 30% on Ulsterbus," he said.

Meanwhile, Translink has said the Dublin to Belfast rail service has been cancelled over the Easter weekend due to engineering works.

The Enterprise service will be replaced by a bus substitution from Friday 25 March to Monday 28 March inclusive.




SEE ALSO:
Metro bus system set for launch
27 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland


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