National Transport Authority plan to replace Leap Cards

Leap cards will be a thing of the past come 2027, according to the new plans of the National Transport Authority.

In order to decrease schedule delays caused by paying fares on Dublin Bus and interacting with the driver, a new ticketing system will allow commuters to pay for their journey in various ways, making leap card obsolete.

Leap cards will be replaced by the ability to pay for travel through mobile phones, bank cards, contactless bank cards or official ID. All of these forms of payment require user data so the anonymous option is through QR codes or some sort of electronic token.

This is part of advancing the NTAs implementation of an Account Based Ticketing across all major transport networks, including Dublin Bus, DART and the Luas. The NTA said that 20 per cent of journeys are still paid for in cash which is the second biggest cause of traffic delays and timetable disruption.

Although this system may reduce time delays caused by interactions with the driver, some commuters are not convinced that this system change will solve the issues with Dublin Bus timetables.

“Buses factor in traffic time but they don’t factor in the time it takes to get people on the bus. I think this would be a good change but I think there are other things that they need to do first. They need to get more buses on the road and they need to take a long look at what routes really need them” said Aoife McMahon who commutes from Lusk to DCU every morning.

Mark Brien who also attends DCU doesn’t think the ABT will have a beneficial change “phasing out the leap cards won’t have much of an impact, that’s not where the problem lies with transport in Ireland. It’s more down to the amount of buses and the timing of the routes than people paying with coins”.

An NTA spokesperson said “even with Leap Card, the complexity of stages means a large percentage of passengers have to interact with the driver with resultant delays at bus stops due to the fact that the NTA does not currently have flat fare and operate a tag-on only system”.

ABT is said to be helpful for tourists availing of public transport but this announcement is not the preferred advancement in in Irish Transport that commuters wished to see first.

Isabella Finn

Image Credit: Ruari Carberry