Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Bus and train fares set to rise

Metro bus
Translink has blamed fare rises on increased fuel costs

Fares on buses and trains in Northern Ireland are to rise by up to 5% from later this month, Translink has said.

From 31 March, fares on the Metro service will increase by an average of 3%, Ulsterbus fares will rise by 4% and NI Railways fares will go up by 5%.

Translink's Ciaran Rogan said the price rise was down to fuel costs.

Mr Rogan said the price of most day tickets, Metro multi-journey tickets and rail weekly and monthly tickets would remain unchanged.

"Passengers do not have to pay any more at all if they use Smartlink on Metro, weekly or monthly tickets on NI Railways or Ulsterbus day tickets," he said.

"For passengers to get the best deal, we urge them to use multi-journey tickets or take advantage of our many great fare offers."

Eleanor Gill, chief executive of the Consumer Council, said Translink must maintain a high level of service to justify the increase.

"While performance on the trains is at an all-time high, it's a different story on the buses," she said.

"Passengers will rightly ask why average fare increases on Ulsterbus and Metro are above inflation while punctuality and reliability are below their target."

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