We shared some tips on how to save when it comes to your car (save on petrol and diesel), but you may not know there are savings to be made on public transport too!
In this blog, we’ll highlight some public transport schemes you may not know about and can help to save you some money on your trips – knowledge is power.
Scheme 1: 20% Reduction on All Fares
The Government introduced a 20% reduction in fares that fully took effect from April. This also includes all public service obligation (PSO) routes–
- Dublin Bus
- DART in Greater Dublin,
- Bus Eireann
- Irish Rail/Iarnroid Eireann
- Local Link
The reduction applies to the TaxSaver scheme too. If you already have your annual ticket for this year, then you will have 3 months added to the validity of your ticket. In other words, it will be extended for another 3 months. Otherwise, if you’re signing up to TaxSaver from April onwards, a 20% reduction will be applied to the cost of the ticket. More on TaxSaver below *anchor
Scheme 2: Leap Card
The leap card is the quickest and easiest way to save money on fares if you’re still paying fares in cash. Fares are on average 30% cheaper than the cash fare.
You can use a Leap Card on buses, trains, DARTs and Luas trams in and around Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford. Leap Card is also valid on some services in Sligo, Athlone, Kilkenny, and Wexford town services.
You can also avail of fare capping if you travel a lot and across different modes of public transport.
You can buy a Leap Card in a lot of outlets nationwide or from the Leap Card website.
Scheme 3: Young Adult & Student Leap Cards
In 2022, the Government announced the Young Adult Leap Card. This is available to anyone aged 19-24 and they have discounted fares of 50% for single tickets for the Young Adult Leap Card and Student Leap Card on many routes and services.
The Student Leap Card is available to anyone who is in full-time education regardless of age. However, there are some conditions you need to meet.
You can apply for a Student Leap Card or Young Adult Leap Card online.
Scheme 4: Taxsaver Scheme
The Taxsaver scheme covers public bus, rail, Luas and some approved private bus operators.
You can also get Taxsaver tickets that can cover more than one mode of transportation. You can apply for a Taxsaver ticket through your employer and traditionally it is deducted from your pay slip before tax is applied. Therefore, this reduces your salary and reduces the tax that will be applied to your salary.
Other ways an employer can offer a Taxsaver ticket is in lieu of a cash bonus or Benefit in Kind.
If you commute 5 days a week, it still saves you between 28.5% and 52% of your travel on public transport. It also gives you the benefit of having your travel costs covered 7 days a week too. If you have to drive to your local public transport hub, you can also make savings on your parking. You can calculate how much you can save and see if it is worthwhile.
Scheme 5: Bike to Work Scheme
Another travel scheme that’s available is the Cycle to Work Scheme. While not specifically a public transport scheme, it has a similar aim of reducing the number of cars on the road.
The way the scheme works is your employer will purchase a bike and related safety equipment on your behalf, up to a limit of €1,250 or €1,500 for pedelecs or e-bikes. Repayments are then taken from your salary before tax until you have covered the cost of the bike – usually 12 months.
You can avail of this scheme once every 4 years. Your employer may not operate the scheme, so be sure to ask your employer for further details!
We hope that you’ve learned something about how to save on public transport and your commute to and from work. If you have a query for one of our advisers or are struggling with your budget, you can call the MABS National Helpline on 0818 07 2000 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm, WhatsApp 086 035 3141 or find the contact details for your local office.