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Written Answers - Rural Transport Services

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 296.  Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey  asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar  when the Leap card will be rolled out to rural bus routes; if private bus operators have been allowed to sign up to the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3015/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Alan Kelly): Information on Alan Kelly Zoom on Alan Kelly Responsibility to develop, procure, implement, operate and maintain the integrated ticketing system in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) became the function of the National Transport Authority (NTA) with effect from 30 September 2010 in accordance with section 58 of the Dublin Transport Authority (DTA) Act 2008. In addition, section 63 of the DTA Act 2008 extends the Authority’s remit in relation to integrated ticketing to the rest of the State.

The first phase of the Integrated Ticketing scheme was launched on 12 December 2011 on the services of Dublin Bus, LUAS, and Irish Rail DART & Commuter rail within the GDA. Project activity is now moving to Phase 2 of the Scheme which will involve a progressive release of functionality and expansion to additional operators. This next phase of the Leap Card scheme, which will be launched during the course of 2012, involves many private bus operators who operate scheduled services within, or into, the GDA, as well as all eastern region services of Bus Éireann.

Pilot testing of the Leap Card is underway on the Bettystown service of private bus operator, Matthews Coaches, and the NTA report that the trials have been progressing well. The NTA hopes to open up the scheme to all Matthews’ customers early in 2012 on their Bettystown/Laytown/Dublin services. The outcome of the pilot activity on Matthews Coaches currently underway will provide useful feedback to support the launch of the Leap Card scheme across the remaining public transport operators.

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