Wild Bill Banned
#136

lkdsl said:

Also, I made no reference to subsidy per rail user, merely that other countries routinely subsidise their rail networks.


I never said you did.

I merely asked you a relevant question which you are unable and apparently unwilling to answer.

Ireland also routinely subsidizes it's rail network.

If you are not prepared to compare subsidies then what is your point?

lkdsl Registered User
#137

@ Wild Bill - maybe if you re-read the exchanges starting with post #132 by bk, who suggested removing all subsidies and making rail passengers pay the full cost. My response was that most European countries subsidise their rail networks. That is all! You are arguing with a straw man, not with anything I actually said.

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Wild Bill Banned
#138

lkdsl said:
You are arguing with a straw man, not with anything I actually said.


Nope. I asked a question. I'm not getting a reply.

(For the record - I think "remove all rail subsidies" is not a good idea; and, yes, I didn't read the full exchange)

Shoot me!

bk Moderator
#139

lkdsl said:
@ Wild Bill - maybe if you re-read the exchanges starting with post #132 by bk, who suggested removing all subsidies and making rail passengers pay the full cost.


First of all, let me point out I was only suggesting removing subsidies for intercity travel, not for Dart and Commuter rail.

Stop and think about it for a moment, why does a government given any service a subsidy?

A government usually gives a subsidy because a service is needed for social or economic reasons, but can't be delivered by private companies at a reasonable cost.

A government decides to subsidise a service for the greater good by spreading some of the cost over all tax payers, even if they don't use the service, rather then putting the burden of the full cost directly on the user of the service.

Dart, commuter rail and city bus services are all subsidised because they are very expensive services to run, but if we didn't have them it would lead to total gridlock chaos on the streets as everyone drives instead and thus the economy would suffer badly.

In the past the government rightly subsidised intercity rail travel, as in the past the roads between our cities were awful. Intercity rail was significantly faster (up to 2 hours faster) and much safer, thus it offered a good social and economic return on it's subsidies.

However times have changed, we now have excellent, high quality, safe motorways between our cities. It is now significantly faster to drive then to take the train and direct coach buses are faster then rail city center to city center.

So now IMO intercity rail offers no economic or social justification for it's subsidies. It isn't faster and it isn't any safer. So what is the justification for subsidising intercity rail?

Please don't say environmental, because that ignores the fact that bus coaches use less diesel and are less polluting per passenger km then diesel trains.

Bus Eireann's intercity express services aren't subsidised, so why should Irish Rails intercity services be subsidised?

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#140

whilst I agree largely, there is a significant sector of the community which need to travel inter city (for hospital appointments,job seeking,college etc) and at least subsidies cater for these people, plus giving a deserved perk to our older folk (I'm not there yet, but I'm getting there to coin a phrase )

This essential travel should be properly costed and IE paid per journey so that it is an inducement for them to attract passngers instead of a great lump of cash to fall back on without the need for them to develop a better service for the cash received from all sources.

markpb Registered User
#141

corktina said:
whilst I agree largely, there is a significant sector of the community which need to travel inter city (for hospital appointments,job seeking,college etc)


Do BE and private bus operators not fulfil that role?

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#142

The question is do we want to live in a Third World country or a First World one? Many posters here seem to be advocating a free for all as far as I can see. That's what happened on the freight side things and some shambles that is now. Drivers driving too many hours, defective vehicles, tacographs being interfered with, traffic accidents, environmental pollution etc.etc.etc and no I can't be arsed to go providing links. It's as clear as the nose on your face to those who wish to see.

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markpb Registered User
#143

Judgement Day said:
The question is do we want to live in a Third World country or a First World one?


Quality contribution there. Reductio ad absurdum springs to mind.

Would Ireland really be a third world country if we spent over €200m a year subsidising intercity bus transport (the operators, the road infrastructure and the bus stations). If journeys can be made at the same speed by bus and train, if buses can properly penetrate the city centre, if infrastructure can be shared to reduce the cost, what's the advantage in paying hundreds of millions a year to subsidise a company whose only selling point is that some people prefer the train?

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#144

Let's have lots and lots more buses - in Dublin and inter-city - until we end up with the same shambles that taxi industry is in.

PS Thanks for the Latin - it must be great to be so edjamacated.

dowlingm Registered User
#145

markpb said:
Quality contribution there. Reductio ad absurdum springs to mind.

Would Ireland really be a third world country if we spent over €200m a year subsidising intercity bus transport (the operators, the road infrastructure and the bus stations). If journeys can be made at the same speed by bus and train, if buses can properly penetrate the city centre, if infrastructure can be shared to reduce the cost, what's the advantage in paying hundreds of millions a year to subsidise a company whose only selling point is that some people prefer the train?
abusus non tollit usum

markpb Registered User
#146

Judgement Day said:
Let's have lots and lots more buses - in Dublin and inter-city - until we end up with the same shambles that taxi industry is in.


I'm not sure which point you're trying to make.

Are you still comparing us to a third world country because some people think trains should receive less subsidy? Are you suggesting that only poor countries have/invest in bus systems? Do you want me to counter your point by posting the same kind of photos that you did?

This is my problem - you can't have a rational debate about how we spend hundreds of millions of euros every year without people reducing it to absurdities like suggesting the old people can't take the bus or that somehow buses=third world. If you have a good reason for investing that kind of money, why don't you tell us?

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#147

markpb said:
Do BE and private bus operators not fulfil that role?


not fully, no.
BE coaches are not wheelchair/ elderley accesible as far as I know and mostly do not have toilets (and those that do have them down narrow steep stairs)

bk Moderator
#148

corktina said:
not fully, no.
BE coaches are not wheelchair/ elderley accesible as far as I know and mostly do not have toilets (and those that do have them down narrow steep stairs)


The idea that elderly people can't use coaches is a bit mad, given coach tours across Europe are so popular with elderly people. My mother uses them every year.

Wheel chair accessibility is the one area where you might have a point, but you can in fact get wheel chair accessible coaches:

http://www.venturebustours.com/vehicles/handicapped.php
http://www.venturebustours.com/vehicles/doubledecker.php
http://www.millstreet.ie/blog/2011/10/05/darren-kealy-introduces-splendid-new-wheelchair-accessible-coach

The new luxury double decker coaches would be particularly good for this job, given their excellent large toilets. Citylink already uses such coaches on the Galway route, however I'm not sure if these particular models have the wheelchair accessibility:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/38016434@N05/4721548169/

If we were serious about cutting Irish Rails subsidy, then a fraction of that subsidy could be given to some coach operators to help finance the use of double decker wheelchair accessible coaches.

BE coaches are not wheelchair/ elderley accesible as far as I know


Not correct, Bus Eireann do have some wheelchair accessible coaches on a few routes:
http://www.buseireann.ie/inner.php?id=297
http://www.iwa.ie/issues/IssuesPublic.aspx

bk Moderator
#149

Actually here is an excellent link to an example of a wheelchair accessible double decker coach (6 spaces for accessibility needs downstairs) and it also answers the needs of first/business class passengers:

http://www.transtar.com.sg/premium.php
http://www.transtar.com.sg/firstclass.php

The have airline style, reclining leather seats, airline style personal entertainment systems with 10" screen at every seat and the seats even have inbuilt massage!!

They also have stewards onboard who can make and serve hot food and coffee.

While not wheelchair accessible, an interesting video about high end first class style bus services in the US:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVpvwhvFpLw&feature=youtu.be

The point being, anything that can be done by train can also be done by bus coach if you want and if the demand is there.

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