NTA unveils new National Fare Structure for Ireland

Posted: 3 May 2023 | | No comments yet

NTA’s National Fares Strategy 2023 sees the introduction of a new National Fare Structure for consistent and equitable fares across the country, with a focus on the Dublin commuter area.

NTA unveils new National Fare Structure for Ireland

The National Transport Authority (NTA) in Ireland has announced that it has published its National Fares Strategy for public transport commuter and inter-urban journeys on Public Service Obligation (PSO) bus and rail services. While fare decisions based on this strategy will be determined and published at a later date, changes introduced in future fares determinations will reflect a more consistent, equitable approach that is easier to understand for customers.

Under the new National Fare Structure, the cost per kilometre travelled will be consistent across the country and will be related to the straight-line distance between the origin and destination of the journey. The fare for a 20km bus journey will be the same whether it takes place in the North West or South East, which is not always the case under the current system.

Furthermore, fares will be made up of a combination of a boarding charge plus an incremental fare based on the distance of the journey. The boarding charge represents a fixed fee applied to the journey regardless of the distance, while an incremental distance-based fare will be applied based on the straight-line distance travelled. The standard National Fare Structure approach will apply to all trips across Ireland outside of the cities and main towns.

In addition, in Dublin, a City Zone is to be introduced, which will extend approximately 23km from the city and broadly equates to the existing 90-minute fare zone. An Outer Dublin Commuter Zone, which includes towns such as Drogheda, Navan, and Wicklow, will be created, extending approximately 50km from Dublin city centre. This area has been selected based on a review of future public transport network proposals and an analysis of ticket sales information to determine commuter travel demand.

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For travel from the Outer Dublin Commuter Zone into the Dublin City Zone (or vice-versa), the lower of the following fares will apply: the National Fare Structure or the existing ‘Xpresso’ Dublin City fare plus, an incremental fare based on the straight-line distance between the start of the journey and the ‘Dublin City Zone’ boundary. This will ensure that the cheapest fare is made available for passengers and will help alleviate boundary issues between the national and city fare structures.

The migration of current fares to the National Fare Structure is likely to take place over a number of years, and will depend in part on upgrades to existing ticketing equipment and the procurement of next-generation ticketing equipment, currently underway. NTA hopes to implement revised fare structures in the Dublin commuter area as a priority.

Variations for other major cities and towns are to be developed as part of this strategy. NTA believes that this strategy will ensure a more consistent, equitable approach that is easier to understand for customers, while making the cheapest fares available for passengers.

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