Public Transport Fares Determinations for 2016

30 October 2015

Fares changes to yield average of 1% in revenue

Authority streamlining fares, encouraging more Leap card usage, funding transport service provision

The National Transport Authority today (October 30th, 2015) published its Fares Determination reports for 2016 – the annual decisions on fares to be charged by the contracted public transport operators in Ireland – Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann and Luas (Transport Infrastructure Ireland).  Operators are permitted to implement these fares changes from December 1st 2015, (except for a small of number Cork-based fares changes which are conditional on Leap card being accepted on certain rail services in Cork).

Fares for the year ahead are set with the aim of maintaining customer support and passenger numbers while ensuring financial stability for the operators.  In addition, the Authority has used the fares determinations process over a number of years to simplify fares structures and to encourage more people to use Leap card to pay for their journeys by delivering a wide differential between Leap and cash fares.

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “The Authority inherited a highly complex and sometimes illogical fares structure when we took on the regulation of public transport services in Ireland at the end of 2009.  We have been moving, over the intervening years, to simplify and streamline public transport fares, so that the prices people pay more accurately reflect the journeys they’re making, and at the same time to cut back on the wide array of different fare types, stages and products, so that the whole question over the cost of travel is an easier one to understand. This process will continue over the next few years.

“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 €2.5 million 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 20% cheaper than cash for a single journey”.

“Also, fares make a considerable contribution to funding the costs of delivering transport services right across Ireland.  In addition to the state-provided Public Service Obligation (PSO) subsidy and the Free Travel Scheme, fares help to fund the operating costs of the services we deliver,” she added.

Full details of the Fares Determinations are available online at :

Dublin Bus Fares Determination 2016

Iarnród Éireann Fares Determination 2016

Bus Éireann Fares Determination 2016

Luas Fares Determination 2016


In summary, fares from December 1st 2015 will change as follows:

Dublin Bus:

Given the additional PSO budget that is available to the Authority for 2016, only very modest fares increases have been approved.  (Details of fares increases requested are available in the full Dublin Bus determination report)

  • No change for City Centre, Xpresso , Stages 13+ fares(Leap and cash)
  • No change for Leap adult singles
  • No change for Dublin Bus only monthly and annual tickets
  • No change for Leap card daily and weekly caps
  • No change for child fares (Leap and cash)
  • Schoolchild cash fare up 5c and Leap up 2c
  • Multi-operator monthly and annual tickets increase 2.6%-2.9%
  • Pre-paid rambler tickets up 3.7% – with the objective of encouraging more people to opt for Leap card to pay for these journeys
  • Merging the 4-7 and the 8-13 stage bands for cash-paying customers into one 4-13 band at a €2.70 fare means fares for the previous 4-7 stage go up 15c from 2.55 and fares for the previous 8-13 stage go down 10c from 2.80. This change follows the same stage-fare adjustment for Leap card fares a year ago.


Iarnród Éireann:

The Authority has approved some moderate fares increases for 2016 rail services. (Details of fares increases requested are available in the full Iarnród Éireann determination report). Increases are being kept to a minimum to protect passenger numbers, summarised as follows:


  • No change for Economy 1 Intercity routes (Dublin/Galway, Dublin/Westport/Ballina, Dublin/Sligo, Limerick/Galway)
  • No change for Intercity student return fares on all routes
  • Rectification of anomalies and complexities in the Iarnród Éireann fares structure
  • Maintaining roll-out of distance pricing for improved intercity fares structure
  • Continuation of policy of consistent discounts of tickets between single, day and open return
  • Removal of anomalies and smoother transition of fares at the boundaries of fares stages / zones
  • Leap Card still offers a considerable saving on fares and in many cases is cheaper than 2012 cash fares
  • Short Hop Zone fares increases approved of 1.4% to 4.2%
  • Monthly and annual fare increases capped below 3%
  • Transfer to Leap card encouraged by increasing price of 3-day and 7-day tickets by up to 4%
  • Web fares on intercity services also continue to offer good value for customers who book online in advance of travel


Bus Éireann:

  • The key focus in determining the Bus Éireann fares for 2016 has been to restructure fares to give better discounts to children and students (compared to adult fares) in line with international norms resulting in no increase for child Stage Carriage fares with some fares reduced
  • Hold Stage Carriage annual adult fares close to the 2014 fares to bring them closer to the value offered by other transport operators
  • The restructuring also looked at improving the value offered to regular users and commuters on the services in the multi-journey tickets
  • This has resulted in a wide variety of fares changes (increases and decreases) with the majority falling within the plus 5% to minus 5% range. (Full details of fares increases requested and granted are available in the Bus Éireann determination report)
  • No increase in Leap fares in the Regional cities and Leap saving increased to 24% compared to cash



  • No increase on Child Cash and Leap Fares
  • No increase in daily and weekly Luas Cap
  • No increase in all zones monthly and annual tickets
  • Off-peak Leap card travel encouraged through modest increases in Adult Cash and Leap Peak Fares, and Adult Cash Off-peak Fares  but maintaining Off-Peak Leap fares at current levels
  • Transfer to Leap further encouraged by increasing 1-day, 7-day and 30-day tickets by up to 4% – where Leap offers better value
  • Three zone monthly and annual tickets to be withdrawn