Dublin public transport fares overhaul to see weekly Leap Card cap fall to €24

People travelling from commuter towns into capital are set to see cheaper public transport fares

National Transport Authority (NTA) fares

People travelling from commuter towns into Dublin are set to see cheaper public transport fares, as part of changes planned by the National Transport Authority (NTA) for the second half of this year.

The introduction of a new standardised “Dublin commuter zone” will see cheaper fares for people travelling by bus or train from areas like Newbridge, Drogheda, Navan and Trim into Dublin.

The new fare system is expected to come into effect by the end of September and will see around 80 per cent of fares either remain the same or drop.

For example, the price of a single train journey from Drogheda, Co Louth to Dublin Connolly station will be halved from €11.95 to €6, while a single journey from Newbridge, Co Kildare to Dublin Heuston will drop from €10.85 to €6.


A new “Dublin city zone” for public transport fares will include areas such as Bray, Celbridge, Ashbourne, Lusk, and other areas within 23km from Dublin city centre. This zone broadly matches the areas covered by current Leap card 90 minute fares.

Fare bands

The daily cap on the maximum cost of Leap card journeys within the Dublin city zone will be reduced from €8 to €6, while the most someone will pay weekly will be capped at €24, down from €32.

The cost of a short Leap card fare in Dublin will be increased by 20 cent up to €1.50 under the changes. A new €96 monthly Leap card ticket and a €960 annual ticket will also be available.

The changes will see the roll-out of the Leap card to more commuter towns for public transport journeys. The Dublin commuter zone Leap card fares will replace Irish Rail’s “short-hop” paper tickets, as well as Bus Éireann’s eastern regional tickets, such as 10-journey paper tickets.

A bus ticket from Trim, Co Meath, to Dublin will be €2.05 cheaper, while a train ticket from Wicklow to Dublin Connolly will be €4.45 cheaper.

However, in some cases fares will increase as part of an effort to address price “anomalies” that exist. This will see the cost of a bus ticket from Cavan to Dublin increase by 21 per cent, from €9.45 to €11.40. A bus journey from Ratoath to Ashbourne, Co Meath will increase from €1.54 to €2.

Anne Graham, NTA chief executive, said in some instances, such as a bus journey from Cavan to Dublin, people would face a “significant fare increase”, due to current prices being “extremely low” in comparison to similar journeys. “These are anomalies that have been built up over years that we are trying to address,” she said.

Regular commuters heading to and from Dublin would see “very significant savings” on monthly and annual travel costs, she said.

Ms Graham said there would always be issues introducing a new “boundary” line to decide what areas were covered by either Dublin city or commuter fares. This would inevitably see journeys from one stop on a bus or train route having cheaper fares than a nearby stop further up the route, she said.

In a statement, the NTA said the overall changes would “represent a rebalancing of fares so that they are fairer and more consistent across the board”. The public transport authority said discounted Leap fares introduced in 2022, such as a €2 fare for journeys within 90 minutes in Dublin, would remain in place.

  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here
Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times