O’Dowd calls for flexible commuter tickets to accommodate changing working environment

-   Fergus O'Dowd TD

Commuters must be facilitated with flexible travel tickets to deal with the changing working environment, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Louth TD Fergus O’Dowd said: “COVID-19 has changed the way we work forever.

“As more and more people start to make a phased return to the office, many employers will offer a blended or rostered working model with two or three days working on site and the rest of the working week remote.

“In this instance, commuters should not have to pay the same rates for TaxSaver tickets when they will not be getting the same use out of them.

“Under the TaxSaver ticket scheme, monthly tickets cover the user for travel 7 days a week. It seems grossly unfair that people who are only working three days a week in the office should have to pay full whack for their reduced travel.

“If action isn’t taken, people will start driving into Dublin, increasing congestion at rush hour and making the commute even longer.

“I began raising concerns with the National Transport Authority on this matter back in April when I called for refunds on all pre-paid tickets and asked for clarity on flexible ticketing to reflect the necessary home working that came with lockdown.

“I have now received confirmation that the NTA hope to begin redeveloping the Leap Card system shortly as an Account Based Ticketing system which would facilitate multi-day tickets more easily.

“Commuters must be facilitated and transport operators must reflect the new normal with their ticketing options,” Deputy O’Dowd concluded.

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