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Dublin Live
Dublin Live
Rayana Zapryanova

Card and smartphone payments on the way for Dublin buses and trams

Commuters will soon be able to pay bus and rail fares using their smartphones and cards, the National Transport Authority says.

In addition to tapping on with Leap Cards, the new ticketing system will allow people to use contactless payment on buses, rail, trams, TFI Local Link, and the planned MetroLink. It will also cover intercity rail services using barcode-based mobile ticketing.

The NTA has also promised better mobile apps and near real-time information. But a number of “decision gates” make it difficult for them to identify a potential launch date for the new ticketing system.

Read more: Lack of drivers and IT failure to blame for 'vanishing' buses in Dublin

A spokesperson for NTA said they “aim to launch it as soon as practically possible”. Once implemented on buses in Dublin, the new system will be extended to Iarnrod Eireann and all public service obligation transport services nationwide, including Bus Eireann services.

It will potentially also be made available to licensed private bus operators across the country. Speaking in front of an Oireachtas committee yesterday, NTA CEO Anne Graham she said these projects include the complete redesign of the bus routes network to make it more efficient, the development of a new bus corridors network, and the transition to a new low emission vehicle bus fleet.

Ms Graham also talked about the higher-than-normal cancellation of services recently, which has impacted greatly on public transport customers. She explained this was due to a critical shortage of drivers, and that they’re working on fixing this.

She also addressed another major issue, the lack of punctuality of many of their services. “On the busiest bus routes, bus lanes are only in place for less than one third of the corridor,” she said. “

This means that for most of the journey, buses are competing for space with general traffic.” Reducing the number of cars on the road and the development of new bus corridors is the only solution to this problem, she said.

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