Dublin’s 90 Minute fare to allow free transfers between buses, trams, rail

— Rail services to areas like Graystones, Skerries, and Ballbriggan excluded.
— NTA says new fare will simplify, but commuter group says there’s issues.

A new €2.50 ’90 Minute’ fare will allow Leap card users in Dublin to make free transfers between Dublin Bus, Luas, Go-Ahead, and most Dart and Commuter rail services from November 28.

The 90 Minute fare will be offered at a discounted rate of €2.30 until March 2022.

Users of Leap card will be able to tag on and make trips within 90 minutes within the area shown in the map below — it means that the new fare will be separate from the Short Hop Rail area.

The adult 90 Minute fare has two different boundaries — the fare applies to all Dublin Bus, GoAhaead and Luas services, but there will be an Irish Rail boundary will be shorter than Dublin Bus / GoAhead boundary.

That means you can, for example, get off an Intercity train at Heuston station and tag on to Luas and transfer to bus for free to places such as Skerries, Ballbriggan and Graystones, but if you transfer to Irish Rail services you will be charged more.

Other areas in the Short Hope zone such as Kilcock, Sallins and Naas, Hazelhatch and Celbridge, and Kilcoole will be fully excluded from the 90 Minute fare.

The Dublin Commuter Coalition said: “Initial thoughts: €2.50 can be quite steep. This is a discount for existing €2.80 rail fares and no change for €2.50 bus fares but will be an increase for existing bus-only €2.25 fares. It should be kept at €2.30.”

“The 90 minute zone for rail is far too small. We still have the bizarre situation where it costs more to go to Balbriggan or Skerries on a train than it does on a city bus,” said the group.

Dublin Commuter Coalition said: “Altogether, this will simplify fares, speed up boarding and make it much cheaper to transfer between services. But for people who only have reason to use buses, Luas etc., this doesn’t make it cheaper. We have a lot more work to do.”

There will also be a new short adult Leap fare of €1.60 for single trips up to 3km, but the Dublin Commuter Coalition said it is unclear how this will work given that Dublin Bus services currently use stages rather than distance.

In a statement, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said: “It is essential that we provide the incentives that make public transport a viable and attractive choice for employees, students, shoppers and visitors. The introduction of the TFI 90 Minute fare is central to achieving this objective and encouraging more people to get back on board.”

Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Authority, said: “Today is a significant day as it marks the implementation of another key component of BusConnects programme in Dublin…. It provides an opportunity to create simplicity and consistency across the network regardless of the route or mode taken. It also means a significant saving for people who need to transfer between services.”

There will also be a child rate of 80 cent which will allow for 90 minute transfers. A press release from the NTA states: “A new flat child Leap fare will be only 80 cent, allowing children to travel anywhere on Dublin city bus, Luas and commuter rail and Dart services within the Short Hop Zone, with a free transfer to any mode within 90 minutes of initial touch on. This is a 20% discount for children using the bus out of school hours, with bigger decreases on other services.”

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