Written Answers - Public Transport.

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 608 No. 68

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  90.  Mr. Stagg  Information on Emmet Stagg  Zoom on Emmet Stagg   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   his latest proposals in respect of reform of the regulatory framework for bus licensing; and when he will bring forward legislation in this regard. [29058/05]

  106.  Mr. Hogan  Information on Philip Hogan  Zoom on Philip Hogan   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   the progress made in establishing an independent authority to procure public transport; the nature and functions of this authority; when the enabling legislation for such an authority will be published; when the authority will be operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28832/05]

  107.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   when he will complete his consideration of proposals to establish an independent authority to procure public transport services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28825/05]

  117.  Mr. Coveney  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   the status of the Transport (Companies) Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28822/05]

  123.  Mr. Deasy  Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   if he remains committed to the break up of CIE into three separate entities; if so, when this will happen; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28833/05]

  131.  Mr. Connaughton  Information on Paul Connaughton  Zoom on Paul Connaughton   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   if he has altered from the position that 25% of the Dublin Bus market would be opened up to competition; if so, if media reports indicating that the level of the market to be opened up to competition will be significantly lower than the earlier figure are correct; the market percentage which will be opened up; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28835/05]

  144.  Dr. Upton  Information on Mary Upton  Zoom on Mary Upton   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   the target date for the establishment of a national public transport commission; and his decision in respect of the arrangements that will apply to the greater Dublin area. [29083/05]

  148.  Mr. Bruton  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   if he has completed his review of the work done within his Department on the restructuring of CIE; if a decision has been reached on the restructuring of the company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28821/05]

  163.  Mr. Sherlock  Information on Joe Sherlock  Zoom on Joe Sherlock   asked the Minister for Transport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   the details of his negotiations with representatives of Dublin Bus drivers on the further opening of the bus market to private operators; the number of meetings that have been held; the outstanding issues to be agreed; and when the negotiations will be finalised. [29079/05]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Cullen): Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen  I propose to take Questions Nos. 90, 106, 107, 117, 123, 131, 144, 148 and 163 together.

As I have indicated previously, I am committed to reforming the public transport market to provide opportunities for both public and private companies to deliver increased public services and to ensure the taxpayer and the customer get a high quality of service and best value for money. I also intend to re-organise CIE to provide greater operational autonomy to the operating subsidiaries.

The bus system is essential to an effective public transport system, with approximately 75% of journeys on public transport being made on bus today. I am committed to providing a regulatory framework which will allow public and private bus companies respond more effectively to the needs of the travelling public. In this regard, I propose to establish an independent national public transport commission to, inter alia, allocate Exchequer subvention for public transport services, both bus and rail, through public service contracts, to license commercial bus services and to regulate fares.

Officials in my Department held extensive consultations with the management of CIE, private bus companies and the CIE unions on how best to give effect to the reform of the market. My officials have met with union representatives on 12 occasions since March this year and held a similar number of meetings with each of the other stakeholders. I have sought the views of stakeholders on how, in a pragmatic manner, greater [197]competition can be introduced into the bus market. I am currently considering the views and issues put to me by the various stakeholders and I hope to publish legislation in that regard in the New Year.


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