Public transport fares set to rise in December

Fares restructured to incentivize Leap card purchases.

NEWSPublic transport services across Ireland are set to change their fare structure to encourage more people to purchase Leap cards, and to cover the cost of providing services. The National Transport Authority (NTA) wants these changes implemented from 1 December.

Annual ticket fares for the Luas are predicted to rise by €60. The three-zone annual ticket worth €850 will be replaced by an all-zone ticket worth €910. The price of a one, seven or 30 day travel ticket will rise by 4%.

For Dublin Bus, annual ticket fares may rise by €70. Schoolchildren will pay 5c more by cash and 2c more with Leap cards. The 1-3 stage band fare will rise by 5c. Stage bands 4-13 will be merged, with a €2.70 fare for all these stages.

The NTA said fare hikes on Irish Rail were being kept to a “minimum” so as not to interfere with passenger numbers. Short Hop zone fares will rise by between 1.4% and 4.2%. Monthly and annual fares will rise by 3% at most, while three and seven day travel fares will rise by 4%.

The price on economy tickets for intercity routes and student intercity tickets will remain unchanged.

Bus Eireann prices will rise by 1.5% overall. Individual fares will increase by 5% at most, while some fares will fall correspondingly.

NTA chief executive Anne Graham said the public transport fare system was “highly complex, and in many cases illogical” when the Authority took control of it in 2009.

She expressed the hope that fare increases would encourage more Leap card purchases, which would shorten waiting times for customers, and would be cheaper for operators to manage.

According to Graham, approximately 1.5 million public transport journeys in Ireland per week are paid for through the Leap card system. This adds up to about €2.5 million in electronic transactions.

“We also want to further incentivize people to choose Leap to pay for their travel – by maintaining a substantial difference between Leap fares and cash fares” said Graham. “Leap will always be at least 20% cheaper than cash for a single journey.”