€10 a day maximum for Leap card travel in city
COMMUTERS who use bus, rail and tram will pay no more than €10 a day for all their journeys – although some passengers will be hit with fare increases.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) plans to introduce maximum daily and weekly fares in Dublin and surrounding counties for those who use the Leap card.
The move will benefit those who use different modes of transport during the course of the day, but punish those who use just one.
Changes to the system will allow operators to determine how many journeys a passenger has made across all public transport providers.
It will ultimately ensure that an adult pays no more than €10 a day or €40 a week for all their journeys. This changes the existing system of fare capping, which only applied to individual operators.
From no later than January next, the system will apply across Dublin Bus, Iarnrod Eireann and the Luas as part of plans to provide a more integrated network.
It will allow a maximum fare to be applied, regardless of how many journeys are made across different systems.
Fare capping is where there is a maximum charge per day or week for journeys using a Leap card.
It is designed to reward those who switch to public transport and avoid using cash.
Commuters must still touch on and off or pass their cards through an electronic validating machine, but once the limit is reached no more credit will be taken from the card.
But the impact on those who use just one mode of transport was criticised by the Consumers Association of Ireland.
"It's almost painful to have to keep saying it, but there's no question this takes every element of positivity again from a population on the cusp of seeing some hope in the future," spokesman Dermott Jewell said.
"When you've got that many increases in such a short period of time it begs the question as to how the organisation and structure of the fare process is being considered.
"It's clearly to the benefit of the providers, and has no consideration for the consumer."