Young people ‘relieved’ at half-price public transport for 19-23s

Adult leap cards ‘really expensive’ for young people and ‘a financial stress every month’

Priya Rajput: ‘Now that I’m not a student anymore, I’ve found the adult leap card is really expensive.’

Priya Rajput: ‘Now that I’m not a student anymore, I’ve found the adult leap card is really expensive.’

 

Standing in the cosmetics store Lush on Henry Street, Priya Rajput says she is “relieved” to hear that people between 19 and 23 will get half-price on public transport from next year because transport is “a financial stress every month”.

Ms Rajput (21) works full-time for the cosmetics store, after recently graduating from college.

“Now that I’m not a student anymore, I’ve found the adult Leap card is really expensive. I already have my rent and so many bills to pay and then I have to pay €120 per month just to get to work five days a week,” she told The Irish Times.

“I get paid once a month so I always top up the Leap card for the full month and that’s a decent fraction of my pay. It would help me so much for it to be half the current price,” she said.

It’s a similar story for Shannon Martin (22) who works full-time in BóBós Burgers on Abbey Street.

“It will definitely make a difference to me. Every day I’m coming in to work and going home on the Luas. It’s about €6 a day. So you notice that when you have to pay other bills,” she said.

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Shannon Martin (22): ‘It will definitely make a difference to me.’
Shannon Martin (22): ‘It will definitely make a difference to me.’

However, the discount “won’t delay” Ms Martin from getting a car, she said. “I want to drive as soon as possible because it’s just more convenient,” she said.

Half-price travel on public transport for the age group is part of a new measure to be introduced from the middle of next year under Budget 2022.

Under the scheme, those in this age group will be eligible for half-price fares on intercity buses and trains, long-distance buses, local buses, the Luas and Dart.

The move is designed to encourage greater use of public transport and so reduce carbon emissions, as required under the Government’s climate action plan.

For Jennifer Clarke Byrne (21), who works part-time in Sketchers while studying, public transport costs “a huge amount” every month.

“I spend about €130 a month getting to college and to work just on buses. It would make a huge difference to me to have more general money to spend,” she said.

It was “looking cheaper at this point to own a car than it is to get the bus every day,” but if public transport was half price, it might make her change her mind, she added.

Her colleague, Hanah Dooley (20) shared a similar sentiment.

“I work part-time and go to college in Maynooth so I pay €152 a month between trains and buses, so it makes a dent. It would be really great for that to be halved,” she said.

Ms Dooley was starting her driving lessons next month and “thought long run it’s better than public transport” but now she’s not sure.

“I still think driving would be more convenient time wise but I’ll have to see what it’s like getting public transport half price first.”

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