LEAP CARD: Slashed fare and new upgrades?

Cian Etherington

September is, without a doubt, an expensive month.

Rent, school supplies and textbooks are racking up extravagant bills, but with new TFI upgrades, transport is no longer an added worry for the 19–24 cohort.

With the price of everything going up, it’s nice to see Transport for Ireland cutting fares for young adults and students just in time for the start of university.

“I love the new leap card system,” said TUD student Áine Dillane.

 “I usually have to put €20 on my card every week whereas now, €10 does me, which makes such a big difference in my life,” she added.

Áine, 19, a Clinical Measurement Science student, said that the money she saves on her transport costs amounts to nearly €40 saved per month, allowing her to allocate more money towards groceries and rent.

“It is brilliant value if I am only going two or three stops as it doesn’t cost me loads to go such a short distance.”

Áine Dillane

The new upgrade arrived just in time for the new college year and will benefit some students.


On the 5th of September, we saw the introduction of the new young adult leap card, which allows students to avail of a fifty per cent (50%) discount off each journey they take.

This adds to the affordability of the ever-popular 90-minute fare also introduced by TFI last year. This is to encourage commuters and city dwellers alike to use public transport instead of taking the car.

According to the official leap card website, those who take two or more buses to their universities will pay just €1 in total for all trips once they take place within 90 minutes of their first trip.

For example, students availing of commuter trains to access Dublin’s four most prominent universities will also pay slashed rates of just €1.50 from zones five and six, where they would have paid €3.00 and €3.90 beforehand.

This means that students coming from as far as Gorey or Cavan can avail of these discounts. 


The improvements host many new digital and physical features, including a fresh new turquoise-coloured card which stands out from the crowd with its modern style.

The latest Leap Card App for Android and iPhone also allows you to keep up to date with your leap card, from top up to checking your balance, and even requesting an auto top-up to those who frequently use their leap card to get around.  

For those wondering if they could get away with looking years younger…

Availing of one of these new leap cards, the new ‘live selfie mode’ which comes with this latest update.

This allows for Leap Card staff to check the compatibility between your identification and what you look like on your Leap card photograph.

“The new leap card updates are just brilliant for commuters,” said DCU St. Patrick’s student Ellen Wilson.

“The fact that it is affordable, means that it is one less thing to worry about as a student with rising costs of pretty much everything else,” she added.

The 19-year-old arts student, also commented on the slashed prices for commuting home to Monaghan at the weekend, where she works in a café.

“It helps that it is now only €6 to get home to Monaghan. It is so convenient that I can get so far for such a small price. It adds to the affordability of this new travel upgrade,” said Wilson.

There are numerous places dotted around the city where new students starting college can pick up their new leap card, including DCU, UCD, TUD and the Leap Card centre on O’Connell Street.

More information and steps on how to order your new leap card for the 2022/2023 college year can be found on leapcard.ie/young adult.

Cian Etherington

Image Credit: Kate Byrne