The National Transport Authority (NTA) must deliver on its commitment to introduce a flexi commuter ticket in Q1 of 2022, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator John McGahon received confirmation from the NTA in September 2021 of their plans to introduce a flexi ticket in Q1 of 2022 and has said there can be no further delays to this timeline.
Senator McGahon said, “I commuted to Dublin for seven years on the Matthews Bus and the train from Dundalk. Since June 2020, I have been lobbying the NTA to introduce a flexible tax saving ticket for commuters.
“At present, people can only avail of a monthly or an annual ticket, despite the hybrid model of working from home and the office since the pandemic began. This means someone commuting from a town such as Dundalk is paying anywhere between €2,600 to €3,600 annually, while only being in the office two or three days a week.
“18 months on from first raising this issue, the NTA are yet to introduce a flexible ticket. Last summer, they confirmed they were keen to make the change but noted it would require legislative change in a Tax Act from 1997 which originally provided the Tax Saver Ticket and as a result, there would be a considerable delay.
“Disheartened by that news, I went directly to Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe who was able to confirm that no legislative change would be required, and a flexible ticket could be introduced under the existing legislation. I brought this information to the NTA who then subsequently confirmed to me last September that they would introduce a new flexi ticket in Q1 of 2022.
“I am calling on Minister Eamon Ryan to engage with the NTA to ensure commuters have easy access to these tickets by the end of March. This is about putting money back into people’s pockets and making workers’ lives that bit easier.
“Considering the pandemic and a hybrid model of working from home, 18 months is an incredibly long time to wait for a flexi ticket to be introduced. This should have been done a lot sooner, but finally and hopefully, the NTA will keep to their own timeline and ensure a flexible tax saver ticket will be introduced in Q1 of 2022,” concluded Senator McGahon.