Thursday, 3 February 2022
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
215. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the allocation in Budget 2022 to provide reduced fares for 19 to 23 year olds is intended to provide for reduced fares on commercial public service obligation operators and commercial non-public service obligation operators; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5529/22]
In recognition of the importance of incentivising young people to use public transport, as part of Budget 2022 I was delighted to secure €25m of funding to provide for the introduction of a young adult card (YAC). The YAC will allow any person nationwide who is between 19 and 23 years old, to avail of discounted travel costs, and to increase the level of discount over and above the current student rates to an average of discount of 50% across all services, including city, intercity and rural services. This will not only promote modal shift in the transport sector among this age group but should also contribute towards a reduced reliance on private car transport with the associated benefit of transport emission savings.
For PSO services, it is likely the YAC will be supported through the existing Leap card platform; delivery mechanisms to deploy the YAC on commercial public transport services are less straightforward. The National Transport Authority (NTA), who has statutory responsibility for fare regulation, has commenced work in relation to the implementation of the new fares’ structures for young adults, and this includes examining how to integrate private operators into the scheme and the estimated cost for this.
Therefore, I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days