Dublin’s Leap integrated transport ticket system goes live

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Dublin’s new integrated ticketing system Leap – the city’s version of the London Oyster Card – went live today, with 350 retail shops, as well as an online web shop supporting the new system. Some 15,000 journeys were produced during the testing of the system.

Leap Card will initially offer a credit top-up system. A refundable €5 deposit for adults and a refundable €3 deposit for children is required to purchase the card initially and after that, travel credit works just like phone credit – you top it up and then the cost of your fare is deducted from your balance every time you travel.

Where to get a Leap Card:

  • Buy and top up your Leap Card at more than 350 authorised Leap Card agents (Payzone) across Dublin and online.

Leap Cards can be used on all Dublin Bus services, all Luas services and all DART and commuter rail services in the Short Hop Zone (Balbriggan-Greystones-Hazelhatch-Maynooth).

“The Leap Card will be among the cheapest ways to get around Dublin and will make public transport more attractive,” Transport Minister Alan Kelly, TD, said.

According to Kelly, using Leap Cards to travel by Luas is up to 17pc cheaper than purchasing single tickets from ticket machines, travelling by DART and commuter rail using Leap is up to 19pc cheaper than purchasing singles from ticket machines, while the same fares as cash apply on Dublin Bus until January 2012, when a discount of 9pc will come into play, following the rise in cash fares.

Different versions of Leap Card on way

The National Transport Authority plans to continue to develop the Leap Card further, bringing different products (eg, Rambler, Travel 90) into the scheme throughout 2012 and beyond. The authority will introduce the scheme onto Bus Éireann GDA services throughout 2012. Matthews Coaches begins its live test of Leap this week on its Bettystown – Laytown – Dublin route.

IBM (supported by sub-contractor MSI) was engaged to provide back office, clearing house and support office services for the system, based on its experience of delivering a best-in-class system in Singapore.

HP, supported by Payzone, will operate the system and will provide support services on the website, call centre and card supply. HP has also worked on the hugely successful Oyster system in London.

Sequoia Smart Solutions developed the original concept design and continue to support NTA with international experience in providing smart-card solutions.

“Today marks the first stage of an important journey for public transport users in the Greater Dublin Area and we estimate that in time there will be circa 250,000 users of the Leap Card annually,” John Fitzgerald, chairperson of the National Transport Authority, explained.

“The intention all along has been to introduce the system on a phased basis, to ensure that we are satisfied that the system is fully tested and robust at each stage.

“Integrated ticketing has been a complex project to roll out and we thank the Railway Procurement Agency for their work in managing the project so well until its transfer to the National Transport Authority in 2010,” Fitzgerald said.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com