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When Hasselt introduced free public transport, it took 10 years for journey numbers to triple. Attitudes change slowly, but for many paying high rents in Dublin now, the cost of a car is rapidly becoming unsustainable and impractical.

I rarely take the Blessington Dublin bus because there are hours between buses if you miss one or it is cancelled, it can take up to two hours in rush hour traffic for the 30KM journey, and you still need to take at least one other bus to get to your destination. Snobbery doesn't come into it.

Personally I can't understand why well-to-do people in South Dublin buy expensive high performance cars or Jeeps/cross-overs when they can barely get out their front gate and then sit in almost gridlocked traffic for an hour to get a few miles down the road but that seems to be their choice. Tax the hell out of them, I say!

But most of the time people need cars because their commutes aren't well covered by bus routes, they need them for business or family, and because that is what they have always done. Habits can change over time.

When I became a senior executive in Guinness I became entitled to a company car and most at that grade felt pressure to buy a high end saloon befitting their status. Some may have looked down on my choice of a Skoda, but no one said anything. However it met my growing family needs perfectly and reduced my benefit-in-kind tax bill.

Don't get me wrong. I love driving and I love my car, and living in a semi-rural area gives me little option. But if I were living/commuting in Dublin I would very much want to use public transport especially if it became more convenient.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 30th, 2019 at 12:22:06 PM EST
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