DUBLIN, Ireland - New fare structures for public transport in Ireland will see some commuters paying less. The aim however is to simplify the fare structure.
2019 fares for Bus, Luas, Dart and commuter rail taking in Dublin were announced on Thursday.
The new fares are another step towards a flat fare as envisaged in NTAs BusConnects proposals.
Simplifying fares and fare payment has been part of the sweeping proposals to improve public transport in the Dublin area since the NTA published the overall BusConnects proposals last year.
For Iarnrd ireann passengers, the new fares will result in a reduction of almost 6% in the monthly and annual Short Hop Zone fare for DART and Commuter services.
The monthly fare will dropfrom 154 to 145, with the annual fare dropping from 1,540 to 1,450.
Leap fares for single journeys within the Short Hop Zone will also change, as they converge to a flat fare. Leap fares on some journeys will be increasing and some decreasing. There will be similar changes in cash fares, however, in all of these instances, the new Leap fare is lower than the existing cash fare, so all cash passengers can make an immediate saving by simply switching to Leap.
Most intercity Iarnrd ireann express single fares will drop by 5%, the second such decrease in as many years.
For bus fares on Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead Ireland services, the move to fare simplification means the current 2.60 Leap fare for journeys of over 13 stages will drop to 2.50. The 2.15 Leap fare for journeys of 4-13 stages will increase to 2.25.
There is no change on the 3.30 cash fare for journeys over 13 stages, but the 2.85 cash fare for journeys of 4-13 stages will increase to 3.00.
Similar to SHZ rail fares, in all of these instances, the new Leap fare is lower than the existing cash fare, so all cash passengers can make an immediate saving by switching.
For Luas, as part of the fare simplification process, there will no longer be a distinction between peak and off-peak Leap fares.
As fares are adjusted, most Luas peak passengers using Leap will either see a fare cut or will see no change in fares.
For Bus ireann, good news for passengers in Bandon, Fermoy, Kinsale, Macroom and Mallow, travelling to and from Cork City. All of these towns will now be in the new Cork Green zone and can avail of Leap 1-day, 7-day, monthly and annual products.
This will represent substantial reductions in fares for passengers in these areas.
The city fare zone in Waterford will be extended to include service 360 to Tramore. This will see significant reductions in most route 360 fares as passengers currently pay the higher stage carriage fares on this route. Passengers in this extended city fare zone will be able to avail of the schoolchild fare and the various Leap products such as 1-day, 7-day, monthly and annual fares at city prices.
In addition there will be a new 1-day (24 hour) student fare of 4.00 in Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
In a move to further enhance integrated movement of passengers between different modes of transport, the Authority is introducing a new annual add-on ticket for the Dublin region. This ticket which will cost 600, will allow commuters who already have an annual ticket for a service starting outside the Dublin area such as an Iarnrd ireann intercity annual ticket, a Bus ireann point to point or eastern region zone annual ticket which brings them into the city, to then use either the entire Luas network or the Dublin City bus network of services.
Over the past number of years, the NTA and the operators have introduced a number of changes to the fare structures which had been in place for many years. The introduction of the Leap Card in 2011 allowed the Authority to introduce a range of innovations previously not possible.
Daily and weekly capping and the Leap 90 discount were made possible by the introduction of Leap and have resulted in financial savings for many passengers. The Authority has determined that the daily and weekly caps will remain unchanged for 2019, which means even greater savings for many passengers.
Despite the reductions, the total annual fare revenue, which is about 500m annually, will increase by an estimated 1m in 2019.
Part of the BusConnects plan is revamping of the fare system to provide a simpler fare structure, allowing seamless movement between different transport services without a financial penalty,NTA Chief Executive Anne Graham said Thursday.
To deliver on this part of the programme, a revised fare structure is required for public transport in the city which will support seamless movement between different public transport services and modes without a financial penalty.
The fares determination presented in this report, builds on last years determination by taking another step toward this new fare structure, Graham said.
Ultimately, there will be a two fare system comprising a short distance fare and a 90 minute fare on any combination of PSO public transport services within the Dublin area.
To achieve a balanced transition to this two fare structure, it is necessary to adjust a number of fares for Dublin Bus, Iarnrd ireann, Go-Ahead Dublin and Luas this year to enable a move towards this simpler fare structure over the coming years, said the NTA CEO.