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Passengers getting on the bus at O'Connell Street. Photocall Ireland

Over €1 million unclaimed every year in refunds of change from Dublin Bus

Have you ever not had the exact change for the bus driver? This year alone, €160,000 has gone uncollected from Dublin Bus Head Office.

OVER €1 MILLION goes unclaimed every year in refunds of change from Dublin Bus fares.

A report issued by Dublin Bus chief executive Paddy Doherty to Tommy Broughan TD following a parliamentary question stated that the amounts since 2010 have well exceeded €1 million.

The amount going unclaimed each year is as follows:

  • €1.7 million in 2010
  • €1.6 million in 2011
  • €1.3 million in 2012
  • €1.3 million in 2013.

Doherty added that to date, €160,000 had been accumulated in 2014.

Reclaim funds

The unclaimed refunds relate to Dublin Bus asking for exact change for their fares when a passenger uses the bus.

Dublin Bus drivers do not issue change on the buses. If a passenger does not have the correct change to pay their fare, the bus driver will issue the passenger with a refund ticket or slip.

Passengers can only redeem their refund or change at Dublin Bus Head Office on O’Connell Street. They can not be posted in or emailed, the refund can only be issued in person.

Doherty said that the money from the claimed change is held in a fund in order to be available for reclaim by passengers as there is no statute of limitations regarding reclaiming passenger change.

He added that since 2003, Dublin Bus has been returning a percentage of the unclaimed money to local communities through the Community Support Programme.


He said “to date over 1,500 voluntary groups have benefitted from grants awarded under the programme. In 2013, the now renamed Community Spirit Initiative saw 85 local charities and voluntary groups receive grants of €5,000, €2,000 and €1,000”.

“Dublin Bus is the only European bus service to provide a ‘change reclaim’ facility,” added Doherty.

Broughan, who had sought the report through the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar, commended Dublin Bus on continuing the Community Spirit Initiative out of the money available from unclaimed refunds of bus fares, adding that the grants provided to groups in his constituency of Dublin Bay North has been a welcome boost to local activities and events.

Read: Take off-peak buses in Dublin? You could be in line for a fare decrease…>

Read: Did a furious pedestrian stare down a Dublin Bus for 20 minutes last night?>

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