Varadkar announces cheaper Leap fares for 16, 17 and 18 year olds

school transport

New Leap fares in August for new school year

• Cheaper public transport for 16, 17 and 18 year olds from August
• Simplified fare structure for children and teens – Child Leap Card Fares to apply from ages 4 to 18 inclusive.
• Free public transport for children up to fourth birthday
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar have announced a simplified package of fares for schoolchildren and teens using public transport for the new school year.

The new fares package followed discussions between Minister Varadkar, parents and students. It was designed by the National Transport Authority, and will result in lower fares for 16, 17 and 18 year olds. The aim is to make life easier for families, and encourage more school children using public transport to get to and from school, and for extra-curricular activities.

• Child fares will now apply to everyone aged between 4 and 18 (inclusive) using a Leap Card. This means that the Child Fare offer will be extended to 16, 17 and 18 year olds from this August. Many of these passengers currently pay adult fares once they reach 16;
• Free public transport for the very young will be extended by a year, up to the fourth birthday, across Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Luas and Bus Éireann;
• The Leap Child Card will be available without the need for formal registration for all up to 15 years of age. This Leap Child Card is on sale in more than 400 Leap card shops;
• 16 to 18 year olds will be able to apply online at for a personalised Leap Card. With the personalised Leap card they will be able to avail of Child fares at all times.
The new fares package will initially be available on Dublin Bus, Luas, DART and short-hop Irish Rail in Dublin, and on Bus Éireann services in the Greater Dublin Area and in Cork. When the Leap Card scheme is launched in Galway, Limerick and Waterford these cities will follow suit and also offer the new fares.

Minister Varadkar said: “This new fare structure is much simpler and it extends cheaper Child Fares to a greater range of ages. Up to 90% of children are now staying on in school to complete their Leaving Cert, but this wasn’t always reflected in the fares on offer. The aim of this new fare structure is to encourage more young people and families to use public transport to get to school, and throughout their lives. A simpler and cheaper fares structure across different types of public transport is the best way to go.”

Gerry Murphy, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “Simple, easy-to-understand messaging around fares is key to making public transport attractive. An integrated approach across operators is also essential. For too long, fares have been overly complex. This new fare offering will complement the significant discounts already available to children and students using Leap Cards.”

While secondary schools are finishing up for their summer holidays this week, some of the older students – the 16, 17 and 18-year-olds who are returning in the autumn – can look forward to cheaper public transport fares from the beginning of the next school year. School children living in country areas generally have access to subsidised public transport.

Some of the new reductions available for Leap Card fares for 16, 17 and 18 year olds include the following:
• up to 60% on Dublin Bus;
• up to 68% on Irish Rail in Dublin’s Short Hop Zone;
• up to 65% on Luas;
• up to 49% on Bus Éireann’s city services in Cork (Galway, Limerick and Waterford later as Leap is introduced).

Date: 28. 5. 2014