Transport Policy


Transport provision in Ireland has become little more than a means to help big business. Public transport is increasingly being controlled by private operators. Some transport infrastructure is privately procured and privately operated, costing the public far more in the long term. 

We call for:

  • Re-nationalisation of all public transport which has been privatised
  • For free public transport to end car dependency
  • Expansion of suburban rail services and light-rail systems in regional cities
  • An end to Public-Private Partnership (PPP) contracts in the delivery of transport infrastructure
  • An end to the procurement of basic transport construction works from the private sector

Political Context

Successive Irish governments have seen public transport as nothing more than something to cut and privatise. We are continuously told that public transport operators are ‘loss-making’ which suggests that they should be making a profit. Public transport is a public service that should not be run to make a profit.

It is crucial in the fight against climate change that there is a drastic shift from car transport to public transport. If Ireland is to succeed in cutting carbon emissions, public transport needs to be seriously enhanced all over the country.

Instead of cutting public transport, People Before Profit wants to improve availability and accessibility. We view transport infrastructure as something that should exist for the public good and not for private profit. It is impossible to measure the enormous benefit to society – both economically and socially – that a properly funded and managed transport system can bring.

For this reason, public transport needs to be preserved and maintained regardless of whether it is lossmaking or not.

Public Transport

People Before Profit would:

  • Scrap the National Transport Authority (NTA), which has been used as a vehicle to privatise Ireland’s public transport services
  • End any further privatisation of public transport services and bring all privatised transport services back into public ownership and operation
  • Make public transport free. This will encourage commuters to get out of private cars
  • Return state investment in state-operated public transport to 2010 levels, and dramatically increase Capital Expenditure for projects such as the Western Rail Corridor
  • Protect all existing rail lines from closure, and expand commuter rail services in regional cities by opening new stations on existing rail lines
  • Develop public light-rail systems in Ireland’s regional cities to ensure that suburbs are connected to city centres by efficient, green and fast public transport connections
  • Allow agreements with private operators of public transport, such as Transdev and Go-Ahead to come to an end. Bring all staff working on these services into public sector employment and run the services for public good, not private profit
  • Ensure all workers are remunerated appropriately with secure employment and that workers have greater control in the decision making on their routes
  • Protect and maintain all existing Free Travel Pass provisions.

Road/Transport Infrastructure

People Before Profit would:

  • Complete all planned motorway and national road schemes using public finance, to enhance safety and journey times for road users. No further road tolls to be introduced on Irish national roads or motorways
  • End all private concessions on the operation and maintenance of Ireland’s motorway network, which is currently managed and operated entirely by private entities. Ireland’s road network should be managed, maintained and operated by local authorities or Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)
  • End all road tolling schemes on the Irish road network. All public infrastructure should be provided on the basis of universality
  • Put an end to procuring transport infrastructure works from the private sector. Road upgrades and maintenance should be carried out by local authorities. Procuring these works from the private sector, who carry them out on a for-profit basis, has led to the bleeding of public finances and an inefficient, delay-prone mechanism for road and infrastructure upgrades
  • End all use of Private Public Partnership (PPP) schemes in the delivery of transport infrastructure. These schemes are nothing more than a mechanism to privatise the provision of Ireland’s infrastructure and drain public finances through what are effectively high-interest loans. End all ongoing PPP schemes on Irish transport infrastructure in order to protect future public finances


Cycling brings many benefits to society, including improved health to cyclists, fewer cars on the road resulting in reduced emissions and less congestion, and improved recreational facilities in both urban and rural areas.

People Before Profit would: 

  • Improve priority for cyclists over other forms of traffic in urban areas
  • Implement a programme of urban cycling routes connecting suburban areas to city and town centres
  • Expand the rural cycling greenway network throughout the country to allow for interconnectivity of towns and villages, and to provide amenities for the public


Air transport has grown substantially in recent decades and while it is crucial that people have access to air transport to and from Ireland, aviation contributes towards carbon emissions in Ireland A crucial component in the fight against climate change is curbing the growth of air travel.

People Before Profit would:

  • Recognise the role that aviation plays in contributing to carbon emissions and scrap the Dublin Airport North Runway project
  • Re-nationalise the state airline Aer Lingus
  • Break up the Dublin Airport Authority and allow regional airports to be managed by relevant local bodies
  • Legislate so that all staff employed in aviation are safeguarded from working under bogus self-employment contracts