For visitors interested in seeing Ireland by public transportation, the Irish government has reduced its public transport fares by 20 percent for travel throughout 2023.
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The fare reduction applies to transport on Dublin Bus, the Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland (a global transport provider that operates several routes in Dublin), and the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) rail services.
Fares on Irish Rail intercity and commuter fares across the country have also been reduced, in addition to fares on Bus Eireann and local link services.
People in the 19 to 23-year-old age group are now entitled to a 50 percent permanent reduction on public transport fares under the new initiative.
The decision by the Irish government is intended to encourage people to use the eco-friendlier public transportation options, like the initiatives that other European countries have put in place in recent months, and also in response to the severe increase in gas prices across the European Union.
This is the first time the Irish government has lowered transportation costs in 75 years.
The Visitor Leap Card
Visitors to Ireland can further benefit from buying a Visitor Leap Card, a prepaid travel card that will get you around Dublin and its suburbs without having to use cash (otherwise a requirement on buses in Dublin).
The card can be used on Dublin Bus, Go-Ahead Ireland routes in Dublin, the Luas tram system, and on the DART and commuter rail system, which operates within a Short Hop Zone that includes all of Dublin city and county.
You can also use the Leap Card for travel from the airport to your hotel. It is not valid on the city’s Hop On/Hop Off tour buses (unless you combine it with a Freedom Ticket, which can be purchased through DoDublin).
The Leap Visitor Card cannot be used on Bus Éireann transportation around the country.
The cost of the card for a day (24 hours) is €8, for 3 days (72 hours) it is €16, and for 7 days (168 hours) it is €32.
You can purchase it online or at specific locations around Dublin. If you order online, the card is delivered by regular mail. You can also decide to have the card delivered to your accommodation in Ireland before you arrive.
The card is available for purchase at Dublin Airport in the following locations – the Spar supermarket, T2 Arrivals; the WH Smith bookstore, T1 Arrivals; the Discover Ireland Tourist Information desks at T1 and T2; and the Dublin Airport Travel Information Desk at T1.
You can also purchase it at the Dublin Bus office at 59 Upper O’Connell Street; the Discover Ireland Centre at 14 Upper O’Connell Street and the Visit Dublin Centre at 25 Suffolk Street.
You can top up the card with an app for iPhone and Android phones.
If you intend to use the card a lot, it is good to know that the TFI 90 Minute Fare feature will give you deeper discounts, which means that the reduced fares now in effect (€2 for adults, €1 for young adults (19-23) and €0.65 for children (5-18) will be deducted at the start of your journey and your second and subsequent journeys on Dublin’s trains or buses will be free as long as you touch the card within 90 minutes of the first journey.