Friday 23 February 2018

Apps and discount deals to get you around on a budget

Accommodating: Public transport throughout the country is student-friendly with a number of discounted rates
Accommodating: Public transport throughout the country is student-friendly with a number of discounted rates

Claire McCormack

Travelling around a new city or town can be stressful for first years, but there are lots of bargains and tools to help find your way.

From travel cards and expanded services, to free apps and free Wi-Fi, commuting can be an affordable and comfortable option.

And at the start of term, fresher's and orientation weeks nationwide, will offer lots of up-to-date information and advice on the best deals for newcomers.

Ben Finnegan, of NUI Maynooth Student Union said: "My advice to first years is to plan your route to and from college especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Make sure you get a student travel card from the very start of the year.

"The students union can help students plan the best modes of transport just pop over and we will help you out," he said.

For capital-bound first years, Dublin Bus provides a range of discounted products through their Student Travel Leap Card.

For €20 students can avail of the 5 Day Rambler - valid for unlimited travel on five non consecutive days. A 30 Day Rambler is also available for €100 - valid for unlimited travel for 30 non consecutive days.

Both products can be uploaded on your Student Travel Leap Card in any Leap Card agent across the capital.

The free Dublin Bus smartphone app also provides real time information for all their stops across the city.

At the start of term, students can also avail of a new Bus Éireann loyalty card, containing €15 credit.

This voucher can be redeemed in €5 stages, against separate journeys in September, October and November.

First years travelling from further a field, can avail of discounts on all Bus Éireann services - once they present a valid third level college card - or Student Travel Card - with photo ID.

Private companies are also catering to student demand and budgets.

For instance, GoBus, which operates a two and a half hours non-stop bus service between Galway and Dublin City - offers fares from €12 one way or €20 return when booked online.

Tickets for GoBé , a three-hour non-stop bus service between Cork and Dublin City , offers online student fares from €13 one way or €20 return.

The company also regularly gives away free tickets and discounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Iarnród Éireann also offers student fare deals on InterCity and Season tickets. The Hailo taxi app is another very useful digital addition.

Irish Independent

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