60,000 tax-saver ticket holders to be compensated due to Covid-19 restrictions

Workers with tax-saver tickets may be given refund or be entitled to free public transport

The National Transport Authority said tax-saver ticket holders could request a refund if they are not working.   File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The National Transport Authority said tax-saver ticket holders could request a refund if they are not working. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

About 60,000 workers who have paid for tax-saver public transport tickets are to be compensated for restrictions on their use during the coronavirus outbreak.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) had previously said it was “actively working” to find a solution to the problem of commuters who have paid for monthly or annual travel tickets in order to save on tax.

The use of Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Irish Rail and Luas services has been heavily curtailed during public restrictions.

On Friday, the NTA said ticket holders will either be able to avail of free public transport from a certain date or to a refund.

“Many holders of tax-saver tickets have been unable to avail of public transport services as a result of restrictions being put in place in response to the Covid-19 crisis,” the NTA acknowledged, saying the basic principles of a flexible compensation scheme have now been agreed.

Commuters who will remain in their jobs will be offered free travel for a number of months equivalent to the length of time they have been unable to use their ticket.

“At the point when the customer returns to work, or on expiry of their ticket, they will make arrangements with their employer and they will be offered a choice as to whether the months-in-lieu are to take effect immediately, or whether they want to use them at a later date.”

For those who will not be returning to their jobs, it said, a refund covering the amount of lost service time will be available.

“Where the customer wishes to receive a refund rather than a replacement ticket, it is still open to them to make such a request via their employer under existing terms and conditions.”