True, but my point was that public transport doesn’t have to be either subsidised or expensive. NE is a commercial operation, has been for years and still delivers reasonably cheap middle distance transport with little or no subsidy. It just doesn’t do so on rails. It’s train services run on subsidies, like all the others.
Irish rail travel might be cheap at the point of sale, but you have to account for the cost of that subsidy. Some rail travel can be cheap, or even profitable, but it’s worth remembering that throughout history, most train companies barely covered their operating costs and took decades to amortise their construction costs, if they ever did. The few that made money were mostly high density urban and suburban routes. It’s best if you can build the lines first, hold a land bank around them and then progressively develop it. The Metropolitan Railway in London (the Metropolitan line and later, by merger the District, Central and Bakerloo lines on the Underground) provide a model of how to do it. Buy the land when it’s cheap and then use the railway to raise its value, rather than trying to build a rail system that needs to buy expensive urban land.
Medium density suburbia on greenfield sites is the way to go. You know it makes sense.