The Union of Students of Ireland (USI) has said that a new policy from Irish Rail to only accept Student or Young Adult Leap Cards from passengers who buy student tickets makes “no sense”.
From 3 September, students cannot present a college ID, including digital IDs such as the Trinity Live app, as valid proof of eligibility for student fares on Intercity, DART or commuter services.
In a statement released yesterday, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) said it was “disappointed” by the decision.
USI Vice President for the Southern Region Kelda McManus noted students could be fined €100 for not having their Leap Card, even if they present a valid college ID.
“This new policy would mean students who have no other need for a Leap Card and cannot even use it to purchase train tickets would have to buy and carry a Leap Card,” she said.
Leap Cards can be used on DARTS, commuter services and the Luas, but is only accepted on national rail services within the “Short Hop Area”, ending at Balbriggan, Kilcock, Sallins & Naas and Kilcoole.
“For many students this seems like a move that is only to suit Irish Rail and in no way helps students, who are just trying to get to college or part-time jobs,” McManus said.
USI said it welcomes the continuation of reduced fares for students on public transport, but “students cannot understand the move away from student cards being valid ID”.
“Students feel that this is an unnecessary extra imposition on them at a time when many students are being forced to travel long distances due to the accommodation crisis,” it said.
Irish Rail Communications Manager Barry Kenny told Trinity News the National Transport Authority requested a “consistent approach to student ID be taken by public transport operators to student ID validity”.
Students can buy a Student/Young Adult Leap Card online for €10 at leapcard.ie.