The Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland (CTTC) has called on the Government to introduce minimum targets for passenger numbers on public transport. The organisation maintains that this move is essential to ensuring that Ireland meets its obligatory EU carbon neutrality targets. In order to encourage a modal shift away from private cars and reduce emissions, the CTTC believes that the Government will need to provide increased incentives for passengers to use public transport, and will also need to urgently target investment into alternative fuels, and clean public transportation vehicles.
In a recent submission to the Government entitled The Modal Shift to Sustainable Public Transport, the organisation detailed some of its policy proposals, which it believes will ensure a reduction in harmful emissions, and provide more sustainable transportation options for the public.
Some of the key proposals outlined in the submission include:
- Introducing minimum passenger targets on public transport, under the Connecting Ireland strategy.
- Enhancing the current network of Quality Bus Corridors (QBC) to encourage increased use of public transport in the Leinster peripheral counties.
- Allocating additional funding for the transition to a green transportation fleet.
- Expanding the Alternatively-Fuelled Heavy Duty Vehicle (AFHDV) Purchase Grant Scheme.
- Strategic provision of ‘park and ride’ facilities which will increase the catchment areas for public transport services, particularly in rural areas.
Commenting on the appeal, John Halpenny, Chairman of the CTTC, said: “Sustainability is important to our industry, and we intend to prioritise the introduction of measures which will reduce carbon emissions. The EU has set an ambitious target for its members to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and every sector will have to play their part in helping Ireland to meet its obligations in this regard.”
“While our industry remains committed to sustainability, this has to be matched by State support. We need the Government to introduce minimum passenger targets, as this will allow for meaningful progress to be made on reducing emissions and encouraging more commuters to use public transport. By introducing these targets, the Government is affirming its own commitment to achieving carbon neutrality and acknowledging the vital role that the transport sector will play in this.”
“Of course, there also has to be incentives for passengers to use public transport, particularly in rural areas. By enhancing rural transport infrastructure, establishing ‘park and ride’ facilities, and providing additional routes and services, more people will be encouraged to consider public transport as a viable alternative to private cars.”
“Ultimately, long-term solutions are also needed, and facilitating the transition to a zero-emission fleet must be a priority for the Government. Our sector needs strategically funded grants, in order to develop alternatively fuelled public transportation vehicles. Our members are ready and willing to make this transition, but Government support is absolutely essential to this.”