Translink is to hike a number of its fares at the end of the month on both buses and trains.
The average fare increase will be 2.9% – roughly the same level as inflation, which the Bank of England (using the consumer prices index measure of inflation) currently estimates to be 3%.
Translink said that key changes will include:
• Rises in cash single fares on Ulsterbuses; these will vary from route to route, and Translink said this will be the first rise in such fares for two years.
• The maximum Ulsterbus cash single ticket is to be increased to £12.50.
• On Metro buses (which cover the greater Belfast area), single cash fares for the ‘inner’ and ‘extended’ zones will increase by 10p.
• Some examples of rail fare changes include on the Belfast to Lisburn railway line, the single ticket price will change from £4.00 to £4.10 (10p or 2.5%), while a weekly ticket will rise by 2%, from £25 to £25.50 (50p or 2%).
• Between Belfast and Holywood, a single ticket will rise from £2.90 to £3 (10p or 3.4%) while a weekly ticket changes from £18 to £18.50 (50p or 2.8%).
However, a number of other tickets are staying static or decreasing in price.
For example, Ulsterbus is to introduce a one-third off day return which applies to people beginning their travel after 9.30am.
Whilst it is understood Translink has run this as a temporary offer in the past, it is now to be rolled out more widely.
Translink has said a number of times recently that it is essentially running out of money.
Last August, a spokeswoman told the News Letter: “We’re in a situation where we really now need that additional funding to maintain services as we currently operate them.”
The Consumer Council, a statutory body which is meant to look out for the interests of consumers, advised travellers to contact Translink to make sure they are on the best fare once the new price regime takes effect from Monday, March 26.
Visit the Translink website at www.translink.co.uk, or call it on (028) 90 666 630.