New card will offer discount of 50% for young commuters and aims to boost public transport usage
The Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland (CTTC) has welcomed news that, from Monday 5th September, Commercial Bus Operators (CBOs) will be included in the Young Adult Card scheme following months of planning and negotiations between representatives from the CTTC, the Department of Transport and the National Transport Authority.
The announcement means that all young commuters aged between 19-23 will now be eligible to avail of half-price fares, with eligibility continuing up until a person’s 24th birthday. The mechanism agreed by both the CTTC and the National Transport Authority means that current holders of a Student Leap Card can avail of the 50% reduced fare automatically – a move which ensures a streamlined commuter experience, and which has been welcomed by the representative body. All young adults aged between 19 – 23, who are not in possession of a Student Leap Card and who wish to avail of the discounted fare, can apply for a Young Adult Leap Card online. Young Adult Card tickets can then be purchased through operators’ websites, on board using the current Leap Card system and through the TFI Go app.
While many holders of both the Young Adult Card and the Student Leap Card will be able to avail of a further reduced rate – due to the additional 20% fare reduction across public transport announced earlier this year – passengers using commercially-operated routes have yet to be included in that scheme. In light of the news announced today, the CTTC notes that the implementation of the Young Adult Card across the private bus network serves as a useful template for including CBOs in both the 20% fare reduction scheme, and in future Government-led initiatives.
Chairperson of the CTTC, John Halpenny said: “Since the Young Adult Card Scheme was announced earlier this year, the CTTC has engaged in meaningful collaboration with the Department of Transport, the National Transport Authority and other transport stakeholders; and we are pleased to see that our efforts have borne fruit. The news announced today will undoubtedly incentivize young commuters to use public transport, and is a strong endorsement of the pro-public transport agenda – which the CTTC and its members have long advocated for. In light of current climate considerations, we are hopeful that the number of young passengers using our services will increase; as many people consider the modal switch as part of their own personal sustainability actions. Crucially, the inclusion of CBOs in the Young Adult Card Scheme is also the first step to ensuring full equity of fares throughout the entire national transport network. While the introduction of the Youth Travel Card will certainly encourage an uptake in public transport, it is clear that the 20% fare reduction scheme must also be extended to CBOs to ensure that all passengers – urban, regional and rural – can benefit from a sustainable transport network, and reduced, affordable fares. We look forward to working in partnership with a range of transport stakeholders to ensure this vision is realised”.