LEAP cards should be used across the rail network, with train services from Limerick to Dublin and Cork a priority.
That’s the view of Fine Gael councillor Sarah Kiely who called on Limerick City and County Council to impress upon the Minister for Transport and Irish Rail the need for such an arrangement.
Speaking at last week’s Metropolitan District meeting, Cllr Kiely said that the Leap card has seen a rise in popularity in recent times from the student population.
“The recent reduction in fares when a Leap card is used is the main reason, however, the frictionless feature is certainly attractive too,” she told council members.
“The cashless card has further attraction when you allow a variety of modes of transport to be used.
“Student monthly tickets for trains are still unavailable online and need to be purchased at the station — something else which would be eliminated if LEAP were to be used in the way I’m proposing.”
The City East representative went on to say that, in Cork, the number of railway journeys has almost doubled on the Mallow line.
“In Dublin, the Leap card can be used for the LUAS and DART, and now on the Mallow to Cork Kent Station train route. It has made a significant impact on the lives of commuters in time, ease of movement, and financially,” she said.
Cllr Kiely took the view that with the rise of students commuting to college due to the lack of accommodation, this measure would take cars off our roads and put money back in the pockets of students and everyday commuters.
“Further good news was announced with the proposed station in Moyross, which only adds to the impending necessity for LEAP cards to be rolled out by Irish Rail on their services.
“TUS, UL, and Mary Immaculate have campuses outside of Limerick and these students use the Dublin line.
“Should this happen. It would be a win-win situation. The climate impact of private cars is evident and making public transport more accessible is the key to a change in behaviour.
“I really hope this can happen soon. It has happened in Cork, so why not Limerick?”