Dissecting a Translink Policy

I had a thought this morning.

Translink, the local bus and rail service, provides transport tickets for a price. If you travel after 0930 in the morning, tickets are reduced in price. This is to entice you to travel later.

This is exactly the wrong thing to do.

It’s designed to alleviate crowding on busy commuter vehicles during rush hours. It doesn’t really work because people travel when they need to.

We need to encourage more people to travel on a bus or train before 0930 thereby alleviating traffic pressure while not impacting productivity. My solution would be to make all bus and train fares free before 9 o’clock. If that doesn’t encourage more people to leave the car at home, nothing will.

(Either way, price escalation can be a breach of EU consumer legislation).

2 thoughts on “Dissecting a Translink Policy”

  1. Alleviating pressure on peak services never really happened, as very few passengers are in a position to move their journeys to after 9.30.

    In the case of NIR, it was on record as resulting in increased revenue, even after the effect of a few people deferring their journeys to save money – which means that the number of off-peak tickets sold increased by more than 50%. I have no information on whether there was a similar impact on Ulsterbus, but the off-peak returns would have disappeared in this month’s fare rise if they hadn’t been making more money than was being foregone.

    The problem would be that free fares before 0900 would result in a collapse of usage outside peak hours. I would say that fares would need to be free at all times, or not at all.

  2. Obviously I agree the aim is to have public transport freely available to assist indigenous commuters and leisure travellers as well as tourists.

    But without a massive change of leadership in Translink (opportunity) or DRD (no opportunity), this just won’t happen.

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