News & Media

Contactless payments needed for public transport

23 May 2020

Statement by Duncan Smith TD
Party Whip and Spokesperson on Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport.

Labour Party TD for Fingal, Duncan Smith, has called on the National Transport Authority to accelerate the roll out of contactless payments on public transport services.

Deputy Smith said:

“As more and more people move to cashless payments in light of Covid-19, it is time for the National Transport Authority to introduce contactless payments on public transport.

“We need to make it easier for people to pay for vital services such as Dublin Bus, DART and Irish Rail services and paying by Debit or mobile payments is the obvious next step.

“Since Covid began, more and more people have been using contactless payments either by card or by their phone, as we slowly begin to reopen our economy, we need to make paying to use public transport safer for both users and bus drivers especially.

“Last November the National Transport Authority stated that they would hope that contactless payments could be brought in by 2027. We need to see progress made on this quicker.

“While the introduction of the Leap Card by the Labour Party in 2011 was a great innovation, there are still many restrictions on topping up online.

“Allowing passengers to pay by contactless would further limit the interactions passengers have with drivers on buses, and as we adjust to a changing Covid world this would be a welcome change.

“We know that there is a small cohort that will always pay by cash who may be older or more vulnerable people and allowances should be made for this cohort to still pay by cash if they wish.

“Since contactless payments were introduced on Transport for London services over six years ago, over 50% of customers now use this service over the Oyster card or cash payments.

“If we are serious about protecting passengers and public transport staff, the NTA need to speed up the introduction of contactless payments on public transport.”