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Public Transport

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (172)

Denis Naughten


172. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Transport his plans to increase the use of public transport by third-level students; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49962/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport, nor decisions on fares.

Following the establishment of the National Transport Authority (NTA) in December 2009, the NTA has responsibility for the regulation of fares charged to passengers in respect of public transport services, provided under public service obligation (PSO) contracts.

As part of Budget 2022, I secured €25m of funding to provide for the introduction of a youth travel card (YTC). The YTC will allow any person who is between 19 and 23 years old to avail of an entitlement for discounted travel costs and to increase the level of discount over and above the current student discount to an average of discount of 50% across all services, including city, intercity and rural services.

It is clear that the YTC will be of great benefit to this group and encourage them to avail of public transport services that they may not have considered using before. It will also help embed using public transport among this age cohort and this habit may stay with them into the future. The NTA have commenced work in relation to the implementation of the new fares structures for young adults.

In light of the NTA's responsibility in the matter raised by the Deputy, I have also referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.