Older teens to get child fares on public transport
TEENAGERS will pay less for public transport following an agreement to extend the child's fare.
From August, the lower rate which currently has a cut-off age of 15 will apply to 16 to 18-year-olds as well.
The "simplified" package of fares was announced following discussions between Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and parents.
The cheaper prices will apply to everyone using a Leap card aged between four and 18.
In addition, free public transport will be extended by a year, up to the fourth birthday, on Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Luas and Bus Eireann.
The new fares will be available on Dublin Bus, Luas, the Dart and short-hop Irish Rail in Dublin, and on Bus Eireann services in the greater Dublin area and in Cork.
When the Leap card is introduced in Galway, Limerick and Waterford, the lower rates will be offered in these cities too.
In a joint statement, Mr Varadkar and junior minister Alan Kelly said: "Up to 90pc of children are now staying on in school to complete their Leaving Cert, but this wasn't always reflected in the fares on offer.
"The aim of this new fare structure is to encourage more young people and families to use public transport to get to school, and throughout their lives."
The Leap child card will be available without the need for formal registration for everyone aged 15 and under.
Those aged between 16 and 18 will be able to apply online for a personalised card.
Gerry Murphy, chief executive of the National Transport Authority (NTA), said: "Easy-to-understand messaging around fares is key to making public transport attractive".
He added: "An integrated approach across operators is also essential.
"For too long, fares have been overly complex. This new fare offering will complement the significant discounts already available to children and students using Leap cards."
The changes will not require an increase in the government subvention to public transport operators, even though they may be receiving less revenue than before.