Fares revision – still great value for money

"focus on delivering great service and value for money"
26th April 2013


Dear Colleagues,

This week we announced that most fares on Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus will be revised, effective from Monday 6th May 2013. Fares will increase on average by 3% on Metro and local Ulsterbus and 5% on NI Railways, although some fares will be held.

This follows several years of below inflation fares increases; indeed some of our fares have not increased in 5 or 6 years.  We achieved this by keeping our costs low and growing bus and rail passenger numbers.  Our fares still are generally lower than operators in GB and the Republic of Ireland.   We are urging customers to look for the lowest fare for their journey; for instance using Smartlink Multi Journey cards, mLink for rail and yLink for young people.

We answered questions at the Committee for Regional Development about how we and DRD have successfully addressed a £17 million deficit forecast for 2013/14 from initial indications of funding many months ago (you will recall this got a lot of coverage in the media).

Since then, the Executive has now allocated sufficient money to fund the very popular Concession Fares Scheme (the first budget allocation was below the 2012/13 level of support) and Translink has generated further cost savings.  In addition, we have had a very successful past 12 months with passenger numbers growing strongly; we are able to carry forward profits earned in 2012/13 to keep fares as low as possible in 2013/14; this is the ‘reserve’ referred to in media reports.

Our bus and rail services remain a very attractive and competitive choice compared to the cost of running a private car.  While it is never an easy choice to have to put up fares, we now have to focus on delivering great service and giving our customers good value for money.

Catherine Mason

Group Chief Executive