Written Answers. - Public Transport.

Paul McGrath

Question:

106 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Transport his plans to bring forward integrated ticketing and smart card technologies; if money has been allocated for this purpose in his Department's Estimates for 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2632/03]

Liz McManus

Question:

166 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Transport the specific measures the Government intends to bring forward to promote integrated ticketing and smart card technologies in regard to the commitment given in An Agreed Programme for Government; if money has been allocated for this purpose in his Department's Estimates for 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2749/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 166 together.

The Railway Procurement Agency, RPA, has been given statutory responsibility for the implementation of an integrated ticketing system based on smartcard technologies for initial deployment in the greater Dublin area. The RPA have set a target date of 2005 for commencement of smartcard ticketing involving all public transport operators in the greater Dublin area.

In advance of the introduction of a smartcard system in 2005, both the RPA and Dublin Bus are in discussion about bringing forward innovative ticketing for use when Luas is launched next year. I understand that the RPA will present proposals on this matter later this year. The CIE operating companies are also looking at means of promoting the greater use of combined bus and rail services on existing services. In the 2003 Estimates for my Department, €3.6 million was allocated for integrated ticketing.