Contactless bus payments to be trialled from this month but there's bad news for Dublin commuters
By Katy Thornton
Contactless payments on public transport have been an available option in London for almost a decade.
Towards the end of 2022, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that contactless card and phone payments on public transport were a top priority for him and that trials would be rolled out in the first half of 2023.
In recent days then, multiple outlets reported that a spokesperson for the Minister had said that the first contactless payment trial on buses was set to begin at the end of this month and that the project was in its advanced stages.
Following this, Lovin.ie got in touch with the National Transport Authority (NTA) on the matter. It confirmed that the pilot scheme and security tests for contactless payments will take place on rural services in the Cavan-Monaghan area.
Now, however, NTA chief executive Anne Graham has put a dampener on hopes that the ability to pay for fares using credit cards, debit cards and phones would be rolled out soon in Dublin and throughout Ireland.
The NTA's Anne Graham / Image via Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie
As reported in The Irish Times, Graham told a Dublin City Council meeting that, though contactless payments are being trialled on some Local Link rural services, the current ticketing equipment on Dublin Bus and other transport services across the capital and country is not advanced enough to allow such a scheme to take place on those vehicles.
“There was something in the media saying it was going to be very shortly. We are trialling contactless payments but not in Dublin," the chief executive explained.
"We do need to have next-generation ticketing and new equipment to deal with bank cards and our current system on our bus service is too old to actually manage to deal with contactless payments.”
Graham also said that the Local Link has “much more modern ticketing equipment", thus enabling contactless payments to be made on that specific service.
She then added that the NTA was in the process of procuring a contractor to develop a system that would allow contactless payments on buses and that once this contractor is appointed, she would have a better idea of a timeline for the implementation of the service. However, she stated that due to new infrastructure being required for contactless payments, it would take "a couple of years" to roll out.
Contactless card and phone payments on public transport are available in other countries and have been an available option in London for almost a decade.
Header image via Shutterstock / An earlier iteration of this article appeared on Lovin.ie
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