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Integrated Ticketing

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 12 December 2018

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Questions (17, 45)

Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

17. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to expand the use of the Leap card nationwide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52206/18]

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Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

45. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to allow for commuters to use the Leap card to avail of discounts on journeys on expressway services which fall within a Leap card travel zone; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52207/18]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 17 and 45 together.

As the Deputy is no doubt aware the Leap Card is currently available on Public Service Obligation, or PSO, services in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Sligo and Athlone. The Leap Card is a convenient and cheaper way to pay for public transport services and I would encourage people in those areas to make the switch to Leap.

The benefits of using the Leap Card are obvious -

- It provides fares that are up to 31% cheaper than cash equivalent single tickets;

- It avoids the need to have change ready as you take your journey; and

- It helps ease delays for all users of public transport as boarding and paying for tickets is so much easier and quicker.

In addition, Leap Card users in the Dublin area also benefit from features such as Capping and the Leap 90 Discount.

But I recognise there are areas outside of those already mentioned which currently are not served by Leap enabled services. However, I am pleased to say that the National Transport Authority is continuing to support the enablement of Leap Card on regional Bus Éireann services nationwide.

This year a considerable number of newly purchased Leap compatible ticketing machines were introduced across PSO bus services operated by Bus Éireann on behalf of the NTA. In that regard the emphasis will be on providing Leap Card on PSO services that until earlier this year have not been able to accept Leap Cards due to a shortage of suitable ticketing equipment.

I am now informed that all Bus Éireann PSO services will be able to accept Leap Cards within weeks, with some occasional exceptions where services are operated by contractor vehicles.

This will be of benefit to people all across the country and will no doubt be welcomed by the Deputy, as I welcome it myself.

As well as these PSO services, the NTA also works with commercial bus operators to make Leap compatible ticketing equipment available to those operators who wish to accept it. A total of 14 commercial bus operators now accept Leap and that means that passengers on commercial services in places such as Galway, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, and Wexford are all able to make their journey using Leap.

As the Deputy is no doubt aware, Expressway is a commercial bus service rather than a PSO service and it is a matter for Bus Éireann, in its capacity as the commercial operator of Expressway services, to engage with the NTA if it wishes to allow Expressway passengers use their Leap Card and what ticket price might apply.

I very much welcome the extension of Leap enabled services across all of Bus Éireann’s PSO services and as already mentioned would encourage all public transport users to make the switch to Leap where possible.

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