Fare reductions for millions of bus journeys in Ireland’s regional cities

27 October 2017

  • Fare reduction on 3m Bus Éireann city journeys, and Leap fares down by 18% average on other Bus Éireann services
  • Kids up to 5 years of age go free on Dublin Bus
  • Cork Commuter rail fares simplified, with fare reduction up to 25%
  • New Luas €1 city centre off-peak fare
  • Cash passengers can beat increases by moving to Leap
  • NTA moves toward fare simplification under Bus Connects programme

The expansion of city bus zones in regional cities along with a number of other initiatives means that passengers on about 5m journeys on Bus Éireann will be paying lower fares in 2018 than in 2017. This includes 3m in regional cities and about 2m on longer journeys.

The Fare Determination was published today by National Transport Authority’s Chief Executive Anne Graham, and Director of Public Transport Services, Tim Gaston

It is the view of the NTA that current areas served by regional city fares were not accommodating all areas where regular city type commuting was taking place.

Following an analysis of the hinterland of each of the current red zones in the regional cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway based on the population density and job density, an extended city fare zone will be in place from December 2017 onwards.

As a result, significant savings will be made by the commuters travelling from one of the new areas which are now included in the city fare zone.

Currently about 20 million passengers each year use city services in Cork (12.7 million) Galway (4.3 million) and Limerick (3 million) each year.

When the city fare zone is expanded to satellite towns around these cities an extra 3 million passenger journeys each year will be able to avail of the lower city fares with most of these additional passengers within the Cork city area.

Take for example a passenger travelling in from Carriagline into Cork city. Currently the fare for an adult passenger taking this trip is €3.52 leap or €4.40 cash. With the changes to the city fare zone from 1 December 2017 this passenger will pay €1.89 leap or €2.70 cash, which represents a saving of 46%.

Similar savings will be available to passengers from Oranmore to Galway city or Castleconnell to Limerick city.

Anne Graham: “Good news too for families with the announcement that we are providing another year of free travel to our youngest passengers by determining that all children under the age of 5 will be entitled to free travel on PSO subsidised public transport.

“Under the BusConnects plan we launched earlier this year, we indicated that we would be simplifying public transport fares in the Dublin area. This fares determination takes the first steps toward a new fare structure by adjusting slightly a number of Dublin Bus and Luas fares to move towards an even simpler fare structure over a number of years.

“For Dublin Bus Passengers, there is no change in fares either for shorter journeys or for longer journeys. Fares for mid-range journeys are to increase by about 5%. However, about 2/3 of those passengers can beat the increase simply by moving to Leap, which will still be cheaper than the current cash fare.

“Like Dublin Bus, fares on shorter and longer Luas journeys will be unchanged, while mid-range journeys will increase slightly. Again in all cases, cash passengers can beat the increase by moving to Leap.

“To mark the opening of Luas Cross City, we are introducing a €1 city centre fare available off peak Monday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. There will be no change to child leap or cash single or return fares.

“On Iarnród Éireann, the adjustment of fare zones in the Cork commuter area will be simplified. Some passengers will see a 25% fare reduction as a result.

“Most Intercity express single fares which currently are quite high have been reduced by around 5% to ensure better value for the intercity traveller, and also to reduce the differential between Short Hop Zone and inter-city fares.

“For many Iarnród Éireann commuters there was no fare increase in 2017. In 2018, however, a range of Iarnród Éireann fares will increase by an average of about 1.2%, which is broadly in line with inflation.”

Click here to download the Fare Determination 2017.