Belfast Telegraph

New rises in Translink bus and rail fares to take effect at end of month

By Claire McNeilly

Translink is putting up fares on its bus and rail services by 2.9% on average.

The public transport company increased prices by 2.8% on Ulsterbus services, 3% on rail services, and by 10 pence on a single extended Metro bus journey.

However, no changes are being made to the Metro City Zone £2 fare, Ulsterbus Town Service Day Travel Smartcards which cost £2.20, or the Ulsterbus Family Day Ticket fare at £22.

Meanwhile, the iLink integrated bus and rail smartcard available for one day's travel is being reduced to £16.

The changes come into force on March 26.

Translink chief executive Chris Conway advised that customer satisfaction "remains high" as "many improvements have been made to our services over the past years".

"With more people travelling with us over the last year, and by keeping our costs down, we have been able to keep fare increases low," he said.

"We know our customers want best value and we encourage everyone to take advantage of the savings to be made with our range of everyday value tickets and offers. We will continue to innovate and invest in our services so we build on our success and attract even more people to choose public transport as their first choice for travel in Northern Ireland."

Mr Conway added: "All our best fare deals can be found on our website www.translink.co.uk, or call our contact centre, 028 9066 6630, or visit the local bus or train station to see how to get the lowest fare and start saving.

"We will also continue to work with the Consumer Council NI to promote our range of cheaper tickets."

The company said some fares are being held at current prices, and many "smart" ticket discounts are available. It added that the overall fare increase was below inflation, but encouraged passengers to check individual changes for their specific journey as well as to review their best fare options.

Translink said: "Metro cash fares are increasing by 10p. For example, the Metro Extended Zone cash fare will change from £2.30 to £2.40, however the equivalent Smartlink fare would be £1.70... a 30% discount.

"Metro City Zone cash fare will remain unchanged at £2, this is our most popular cash fare on Metro."

Scott Kennerley from The Consumer Council said no one wanted to see fares rise, and he advised customers to check all Translink ticket options.

"A passenger travelling on Metro in the Belfast city zone will pay £2 per journey," he said.

"The same journey using a multi-journey card will be £1.45 after the fare review."

In the Travel Survey For Northern Ireland 2014-2016, respondents were asked what would encourage them to use local public transport more often.

The most popular answer, given by 26% of respondents, was "cheaper fares".

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