Dublin Bus refunds no longer available to passengers who pay too much

UK company Go-Ahead commences services with launch of route from Citywest to UCD

Cash passengers will no longer be entitled to a refund if they overpay on a Dublin Bus or a Go-Ahead bus from this week. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Cash passengers will no longer be entitled to a refund if they overpay on a Dublin Bus or a Go-Ahead bus from this week. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

From this week refunds will no longer be available for anyone who pays too much cash for a bus fare in Dublin. The National Transport Authority’s chief executive Anne Graham says this is a move towards introducing cash less payments across all bus services.

In 2017, 10.4 per cent of overpaid fares was sought by customers while the overall value of unclaimed change was about €600,000.

Buses in the capital ran on an “exact fare” policy with drivers unable to give change. The transport company issued refunds to those who seek them from its head office.

Its decision to no longer do so, announced on Wednesday, is part of a move toward a “cashless” service, it said, and encouraged people to buy Leap cards to pay for journeys.

The move comes as UK company Go-Ahead commences services in Dublin with the launch of a new route on Sunday - the 175 - from Citywest to UCD.

Over the next few weeks Go-Ahead will take over a number of Dublin Bus routes which will lead to an increase of 10 per cent in services according to Ms Graham.

The differences between the two services will include the exterior of the vehicles and bus stop poles. However, there will be shared bus stops for some routes while there will be new stops in new locations.

All prices will be the same, said Ms Graham. Leap cards, annual tax saver tickets, and the free travel pass can all be used on the new service. Information for the Go-Ahead service will be available on the Transport for Ireland journey planner, and on real time apps, but not on the Dublin Bus app.

With the new bus service customers can use cash. “What has changed is that before if you paid more than the cash fare you were able to claim that back from Dublin Bus, but from this week that is not recoverable, it’s part of our move towards introducing cash less payments across all bus services,” Ms Graham said.

“The changes are part of the bus market opening that we initiated a few years ago, this is the first of tendered services, it’s a new service, next month they will commence on some of the routes currently operated by Dublin Bus on a phased basis.

“The National Transport Authority is paying Go-Ahead to provide a service, a different type of contract, overall Go-Ahead will be paid, fares will be retained by the NTA. It is slightly different from Dublin Bus where Dublin Bus retains the fares and we pay the difference between their fare revenue and the cost of operation,” she says.

Ms Graham maintains that international experience is “when you introduce competition into the market, the overall market improves, customer service improves across that market.”

The bus company won a contract last year to run 24 routes in Dublin. It said it would create 425 jobs and invest €8.5 million in its Irish operation.