Cheaper fares for rail users ‘if Leap card deadline is missed’

Rail commuters may have fares reduced on the Cork-Cobh and Cork-Midleton lines if Iarnród Éireann fails to introduce, by next month, new technology to accept Leap card transactions.

Cheaper fares for rail users ‘if Leap card deadline is missed’

As part of a fare hike deal last October, the rail company was obliged to have the new technology in place by last Friday.

Last year, the National Transport Authority (NTA) gave approval for Iarnród Éireann to increase adult day return fares on the Midleton line from €7.90 to €8.70 and from €7.70 to €8.50 on the Cobh line. Approval was conditional on Leap cards being acceptable on both lines by August 1.

Cobh-based Councillor Cathal Rasmussen said he couldn’t understand why Iarnród Éireann, 10 months later, had not installed the technology.

However, following discussions with the rail body, the NTA has agreed to extend the deadline for the introduction of the new technology to September 11.

“I am still at a loss to understand why it is taking them so long to put in the machines. I have no issue with the extension once the deadline is not passed again,” the Labour councillor said.

“The Cobh and Midleton commuter lines serve thousands of passengers each week and provide a vital link to Cork City for workers, students and others as well as tourists wishing to visit destinations such as Cobh and Fota. The lines are extremely well supported, but passengers should not have to pay extra due to the failure to introduce the Leap card on the services.”

Cllr Rasmussen said if the September 11 deadline was not met, he will be calling on the NTA to ensure it makes Iarnród Éireann drop prices to previous levels.

An Irish Rail spokesman said the company had tried to implement a software upgrade but it simply had not worked. “We are committed to implementing this by September 11,” he said.

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