Irish Leap Card to be reviewed by Europe’s smart ticketing leaders

11 Jun 2014

Ireland’s Leap Card rollout will be reviewed at a global conference this week, as leading authorities on smart ticketing projects converge on the quaint historic seaport of Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

The conference takes place on 13 June at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire.

Since its launch in Dublin two and half years ago, passengers of the DART, Luas, commuter rail, and Dublin Bus services have widely embraced the Leap Card.

More than €1,250,000 worth of journeys are taken in a typical week on the 500,000 cards now in circulation.

The Leap card represents a major achievement in a short space of time. The next phase will be to develop the Leap card further in Cork, as well as implementing it in other cities.

Leap accounts for 47m passenger journeys since its inception.

Smart ticketing for Europe

‘Smart Ticketing for Mobility in Europe – The Contribution of the Atlantic Area Cities’ (Nantes, Saint Sebastien, Liverpool, Dublin, Gijon and Aveiro) is the title of an initiative around developing solutions through SMART ticketing in public transport systems.

Findings of the project called SITE (Smart Integrated Ticketing For Europe) will be presented to delegates at the conference, which will also feature the success of the Irish Leap card.

The project has developed and trialled solutions which allow travellers to have greater mobility through the use of ticketing that is flexible and operable in different locations.

It contributes to sustainability and mobility and makes public transport a more attractive option for travellers.

Nine partners (local authorities, network operators, transport management authorities) from six different cities of the five countries of the Atlantic Area, have collaborated for two and half years in the INTERREG-SITE project, to facilitate a seamless travel thanks to innovative ticketing solutions.

The project has developed and trialled solutions which allow travellers to have greater mobility through the use of intermodal and interoperable ticketing.

Predictive analysis

“The SITE project has provided the National Transport Authority (NTA) with opportunities to work with other European cities in the Atlantic Area in developing the use of smart cards in public transport,” explained Gerry Murphy, CEO of the National Transport Authority.

“In Ireland, the SITE project funded market research and the development of a computer-based model which has been used to predict changes in customer behaviour as the Leap Card scheme was being introduced. In particular, such initiatives as fare capping could be modelled in advance of launch to assess the impact on journeys and revenue.

“In addition, the SITE project has funded development of tourist and visitor-friendly products designed to encourage more use of public transport by tourists and visitors. 

“There has also been SITE funding for development to explore the potential of mobile phones being used in transport ticketing and NTA is currently seeking a partner to develop some possible uses for mobile in Ireland,” Murphy said.

Partners have invested €6.5m into SITE, with the European Regional Development Fund in the frame of the Atlantic Area Territorial Cooperation Programme funding 65pc of the project.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years