Public Transport Schemes

Cover image for blog post. Text reads "Public Transport Scheme - Helping you get from A to B". Center image holds a collage of different logos of Irish transport systems such as the Luas, Dublin Bus, Dart and Dublin Bikes.

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.

Scheme 1: Leap Card 

The leap card is the quickest and easiest way to save money on fares if you’re still paying 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 many outlets nationwide or from the Leap Card website.

Scheme 2: 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 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 3: Taxsaver Scheme 

The Taxsaver scheme covers public buses, rail, Luas, and some approved private bus operators.

You can also get Taxsaver tickets that can cover multiple modes of transportation. You can apply for a Taxsaver ticket through your employer. Traditionally, it is deducted from your payslip before tax is applied. Therefore, this reduces your salary and 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 save on parking. You can calculate how much you can save and see if it is worthwhile.

Scheme 4: 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 ask your employer for further details!

Scheme 5: Free Travel Scheme

The Free Travel scheme allows you to travel free of charge. This applies to all public transport and some private bus and ferry operators. It is available to everyone over 66 and those under 66 who are in receipt of Disability Allowance, Blind Pension, Carers Allowance, or Invalidity Pension. Both cohorts must be legally living permanently in Ireland. If you qualify, you may also get free travel for your spouse or a companion if you meet the requirements.

More information on the Free Travel Scheme can be found on the Citizens Information page on Free Travel in Ireland.

Optimise your travel

TFI Live App

The TFI Live App lets you access real-time departure and journey planning information across the Transport for Ireland (TFI) network. The app is available on both Android and iOS. The app allows you to check the live time of buses, trams and trains.

TFI Leap Card Top-Up App

It is a free app for NFC (near-field communication) enabled Android phones and iPhone 7 or above. It allows you to instantly top-up your TFI Leap Card, check your balance, collect tickets, and check how close you are to reaching your daily and weekly cap values.

Taxi Fare Estimator

Transport For Ireland offers a Taxi Fare Estimator. This allows you to get a rough estimate of how much your journey will cost via taxi. This can help with journey planning and not having the horrible surprise of looking at the final fare when arriving at your destination!

For more information on bus, train and tram travel, check out the Transport For Ireland (TFI) website.

We hope that you’ve learned something about how to save on public transport and your commute to and from work.

Contact us

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 9 am to 8 pm or find the contact details for your local office.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure this information is current and correct. The details of each case can be unique. As a result, the outcome can be different to what has been described in this blog.

Note: We welcome references to and use of the content in this blog. However, please reference MABS and link said content if you choose to do so.