Fine Gael TD Fergus O’Dowd has welcomed an extension to annual TaxSaver tickets by a period of six months for commuters affected by Covid-19.
The Louth Deputy said, “I am happy that the National Transport Authority has decided that customers who have an annual TaxSaver ticket for transport services provided by Dublin Bus, Luas, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann and Go-Ahead Ireland will have their tickets extended for a period of six months.
“The measure means that customers will be given back the portion of the ticket that they could not use as a result of the Covid travel restrictions and due to the changing work environment that people are dealing with.
“It will apply to all customers whose tickets were valid on April 1st and customers are not required to fill in forms or supply any details.
“Also customers whose ticket expires, and who has not already requested a refund, will automatically be provided with a new ticket on their existing TFI Leap card, which extends validity for six months from the date of expiry of their original ticket.
“Customers who renewed their annual TaxSaver ticket since April 1st will also benefit. Where a customer wishes to receive a refund rather than get an extension, they can make such a request via their employer under existing terms and conditions.
“With more people beginning 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 remotely.
“I believe that commuters should not have to pay the same rates for TaxSaver tickets when they will not be getting the same use out of them, as under the TaxSaver ticket scheme, monthly tickets cover the user for travel 7 days a week.
“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 am glad that the National Transport Authority have taken action to facilitate commuters when it comes to their ticketing options during the pandemic,” Deputy O’Dowd concluded.