To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to work with the Department of Social Protection to introduce leap card technology to the free travel scheme in order to more accurately measure usage on which to base the transfer of public funds to those public transport providers participating in the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Seán Kyne.
Answered by the Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport Alan Kelly
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has responsibility to develop, procure, implement, operate and maintain the integrated ticketing Leap card system in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). In addition, the Authority’s remit in relation to integrated ticketing has been extended to the rest of the State.
I understand that the NTA and the Department of Social Protection (DSP) have been working closely together to incorporate Leap card technology in the Public Services Card (PSC). I am also informed by the NTA that DSP will be in a position to provide the NTA with prototype Free Travel variant PSCs in April this year. NTA will be extensively testing these cards to ensure they can be processed by the Leap card infrastructure.
Upon receiving confirmation from the NTA that the cards and readers work properly together, DSP will progress to issuing Free Travel variant PSCs to eligible clients. It is anticipated this could commence over the summer of this year if the testing is successful.