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Discounted public transport fares for 19 to 23 year olds announced as part of Budget

A 50% discount on fares will be rolled out by the middle of 2022.
Oct 12th 2021, 6:31 AM 38,220 46

Updated Oct 12th 2021, 2:09 PM

YOUNG PEOPLE AGED between 19 and 23 are receiving a 50% discount on public transport fares across the network. 

A total of €25 million was announced for youth travel cards as part of the Budget today along with a €1.4 billion package to upgrade the public transport system. 

Currently, student fares are up to 30% cheaper than adult fares. Today’s announcement means the discount will be bumped up to 50% from next year. Child fare rates currently cover children up to the age of 18.

However, the new scheme will not just be for students, but all young people in the age cohort. 

“This card will be available to any person between the ages of 19 and 23 and will allow them to avail of a 50% discount on fares across the transport network,” Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath said today.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan is understood to be eager to get young people to stick with public transport, and believes such discounts will be habit-forming for young people.

Due to the rising cost of living, it is hoped that the travel discounts will go some way in helping young people keep money in their pockets. 

Speaking at the launch of the Government’s new National Development Plan last week, Ryan promised a two-to-one spend ratio between public transport and road infrastructure as part of Ireland’s climate goals.

But while the Government wishes to encourage people onto public transport and away from cars, Ryan admitted there was little prospect of reducing fares in the short-term for all passengers.

During lockdown, the Government invested in heavily in public transport companies which were unable to operate to keep them afloat.

He said: “We had to fill that gap with a huge investment, to cover the PSO (public service obligation), to keep the companies going.

“Now as we come out we have a real problem, because we see car traffic coming back, but people are still slow on public transport.

“Our public transport revenues are not rising as fast as we would like and we’re going to be in a tight budget situation.”

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