A Government Senator says public transport should be free to the vast majority of people.
Fianna Fáil's Timmy Dooley says it is time to 'break the link' between transport and cars.
He told Lunchtime Live cars will never be completely off Irish roads, but more could be done.
"For a long time, I have felt that public transport should be free to the vast majority of people."
Admitting that people in rural areas need cars, he says: "A car is an important part as a mode of transport for people like that.
"They live in rural, some more isolated areas and there isn't public transport - and there isn't going to be public transport.
"But I'm taken when I visit cities and large towns where people own a car, and the ambition of the next generation is to own a car as soon as they get to a certain point that they can afford it.
"When in truth, they rarely use it to its full extent - and there's a block between moving towards public transport for them."
'Not the only solution'
He believes free public transport will negate the need for a car in urban areas.
"I think if you make it free, you make public transport free, you'll resolve a lot of the issues about people using cars where they don't need them."
He says free public transport could go a long way to solving problems.
"It's not about eliminating the car - that's never going to happen, let's be honest.
"For sure there is a move towards electric and that's really important, and that's part of the decarbonisation of the future.
"But it's not the only solution, public transport's an important part of it.
"There are cars in cities that scarcely do 5,000 kilometres a year - and we have to break that link, in my view, for the next generation."
And Senator Dooley says we need to focus on what's possible with public transport, rather than 'pie in the sky' suggestions.
"It's not suggesting that you can transform the country and have a bus going into every village that'll meet the needs of everybody.
"That's pie in the sky stuff, and I see some of those proposals coming forward and in my view they're going nowhere.
"But let's look at what we can do: maximise use of public transport in densely populated areas for people for whom the service works and get them out of their car".