Fine Gael fail to understand the concept of Supply and Demand

This story was in the Irish Examiner last week. Fergus O’Dowd, Fine Gael TD for Louth and Tipperary native, bemoans the fact that Irish Rail charge €27 return to get from Tipperary to Dublin, but it costs €45 return to get from Dublin to Tipperary.

Obviously the cost of getting home to visit the relations at the weekends from Dublin is having an adverse impact on the deputys pocket.

Being from Mayo myself, for years the anomalies of the CIE/Irish Rail fares for the Westport to Dublin train were a mystery. Why did a single and a return cost the same money was a great example.

And more recently, it never ceases to amaze me that I can’t buy a return ticket from Dublin to Wexford on a Friday evening from the ticket machines in Connolly or Pearse stations. Nor can I buy a return from Wexford to Dublin on a Sunday evening in Wexford or Enniscorthy station ticket machines.

You’d have to say though, that the response from Irish Rail chief executive Richard Fearn does make a certain amount of sense when explaining the Tipperary price differential.

He said the Tipperary-Dublin ticket price was “a significantly discounted fare” introduced in a bid to “create a local market” in Tipperary for rail services.

The article goes on:

In response to questions from Mr O’Dowd, he said Irish Rail was committed to trying to converge fares, meaning a journey in one direction would be priced at the same level as a journey in the opposite direction.

Presumably, Deputy O’Dowd means for the prices to converge to the lower €27 fare (the discounted fare) rather than the normal price of €45. Shouldn’t the deputy really quit while he, and consumers, are ahead rather than pushing for a price convergence which is more likely to leave everyone paying €45 rather than some people paying €27?

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