Saturday 21 April 2018

Fare increases: Luas ticket holders face €60 hike in fares

Schoolchildren's cash bus fare to be increased by 5c

General view of Luas at St. Stephen's Green stop. St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of Luas at St. Stephen's Green stop. St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Paul Melia Environment Editor

Fares will rise on some public transport services from December 1, with schoolchildren in Dublin to be hit with an additional 5c charge if paying by cash.

Meanwhile, some annual ticket holders on the Luas will have a €60 increase in their fares.

Those passengers with a three zone annual ticket currently pay €850. They will now have to switch to an all-zone ticket costing €910.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has approved increases in some fares in an effort to encourage more people to switch to the cheaper Leap card.

Dublin Bus
Dublin Bus

The NTA said that despite passenger growth in 2014, increases were needed to complete the “restructuring and simplification” of the fare structure, to encourage a switch to the Leap card and to contribute to the additional cost of providing services.

For Dublin Bus, the NTA said only “modest” increases had been approved.

The main changes are:

·         There is no change for City Centre, Xpresso or Stages 13+ fares, both for Leap and cash.

·         However, a schoolchild cash fare is up 5c, and Leap up 2c.

·         A multi-operator monthly and annual tickets increase between 2.6pc and 2.9pc. Pre-paid rambler tickets are up 3.7pc, in an attempt to encourage more people to switch to Leap.

Some fares have also been merged. The 4-7 stage and 8-13 stage bands for cash fares have been merge into one 4-13 band.

The fare is now €2.70 – this is an increase of 15c for the 4-7 stage, and a reduction of 10c for the previous 8-13 stage.

On Irish Rail services, increases are being kept to a “minimum” to protect passenger numbers.

Lower increases had been approved than requested in some cases, the NTA said, and the Leap card remained the cheapest option.

The main changes are:

·         Short Hop zone fares increases between 1.4pc to 4.2pc.

·         A maximum increase of 3pc on monthly and annual fares.

·         A 4pc increase in the cost of a three day or seven day travel ticket. This is designed to encourage a move to Leap.

For Luas, off-peak travel using cash and Leap will increase. The cost of buying a one, seven or 30 day travel ticket is up by 4pc, while three zone monthly and annual tickets will be withdrawn.

Bus Eireann has been given an overall fare increase of 1.5pc, but individual fares will increase by no more than 5pc. In some cases, they will fall by a corresponding amount.

In the regional cities, Leap fares will not increase and fares will be 24pc cheaper than paying in cash.

Operators are allowed implement the changes from December 1 next, except for some changes in Cork which are conditional on the roll-out of the Leap card.

The NTA said fare are set with the aim of maintaining customer support and passenger numbers while ensuring financial stability for the operators. 

“The Authority inherited a highly complex, and in many cases illogical, fares structure when we took on the regulation of public transport services in Ireland at the end of 2009,” chief executive Anne Graham said.

“We also want to further incentivise people to choose Leap card to pay for their travel – by maintaining a substantial price differential between Leap fares and cash fares. 

“Leap card is now used to pay for some 1.5 million public transport journeys in Ireland every week – representing about €2.5m in electronic transactions, which are cheaper for the operators to manage, and mean that the passenger benefits from shorter wait-times at each stop as people pay, as well as paying less for their trip – Leap will always be at least 20pc cheaper than cash for a single journey”.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News