A new system is being built through a procurement procedure; the outcome should be known in the next two months.
Currently, bank card payments are also being tested by a number of rural providers.
But it’s unlikely that bank card and digital wallet usage—like Apple Pay and Google Pay—will become commonplace until the following year or the year after.
CEO of the National Transport Authority Anne Graham informed the sources that they are aware that people have been searching for something similar.
“We are planning to do the next generation of ticketing, which is using smartphones and bank cards to pay for services,” she stated.
“It’ll be the next generation of Leap [Card].”We intend to issue a tender now in two months’ time and begin creating that system to enable individuals to use bank cards. We are currently acquiring a system that will permit [contactless] payments.”
According to Ms. Graham, a few services have already begun testing the new setup.
“We do have some bank card payment testing on some of our Local Link services in rural Ireland,” she stated.
“So, actually we might start our payments in rural Ireland ahead of even the cities.”
It will probably take until 2025 or 2026 for the system to be implemented, according to Ms. Graham.
“This is a significant IT project so it will take a number of months,” she stated.
“It won’t replace Leap Card until 2025 or 2026 at the latest.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure that we replicate the system, which is very integrated system in Dublin, and replicate the TFI 90 fare,” she stated.
It comes as fresh data reveals that last year saw record-high usage of public transportation in Ireland.
In2023, around 308 million trips were taken on the Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Luas, and other local routes.
The number has increased by 24% from 2022 and by 5% from 2019, the previous record year.
Dublin Bus accounted for nearly half of all public transportation trips last year, with 145 million passenger trips recorded, an increase of 20% above the figures for 2022.
There were about 45.5 million passenger rail rides and an additional 48.2 million Luas trips.