Children’s public transport free travel age rises to five

National Transport Authority seeking to promote family use of buses, trains and Luas

Along with extended free travel for children under five, changes to Leap card charges start on Friday.

Along with extended free travel for children under five, changes to Leap card charges start on Friday.

 

The free travel age for children on public transport is to rise from four years to five on Friday.

The move, announced alongside fare restructuring on Leap cards, is designed as part of a push to encourage increasing use of public transport, particularly among families.

Children under five years will be able to travel free of charge on Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Luas and Iarnród Éireann services.

Changes to Leap card charges, overseen by the National Transport Authority (NTA), will also come into effect on Friday.

While there are some increases to a number of single fares, the NTA said these are not excessive and that other commuters will benefit from reduced fares.

“The authority recognises that the cost of travel with a young family can be expensive and today’s move marks another step towards making sustainable transport a more affordable option for more families,” the NTA said.

Following a recent analysis of public transport, extended bus “fare zones” will operate in the cities of Cork, Limerick and Galway, meaning “significant savings” for commuters.

Fare zones

The NTA said the fare zone expansion to satellite towns around these cities will see an extra three million annual passenger journeys charged at the lower prices, mostly in Cork.

“Today’s development will be good news for families, particularly around this time of year as people get geared up for going into town to do Christmas shopping and to see Santa Claus,” said Anne Graham, NTA chief executive, of the free travel extension for children.

Previous initiatives in fare reduction have included extending child fare eligibility to a person’s 19th birthday, and introducing “Kids Go Free” Leap promotions during the summer.

“This is something that we will continue to work on in the years ahead,” said Ms Graham.