Local Fianna Fáil Councillor for Palmerstown-Fonthill, Shane Moynihan, has called on the National Transport Authority and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to suspend commuter tickets, and those provided under the Taxsaver scheme, for commuters who use Dublin Bus, Luas and Irish Rail but who are unable to travel to work for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cllr Moynihan said: “Today I’m calling for a suspension of commuter tickets for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for those workers who are unable to travel to work. This suspension should take the form of direct refunds issued to customers or for the product to be extended so that it is valid for the same duration in the post-COVID-19 period.” “It is unfair to ask commuters to pre-pay for travel that will never take place when there is restricted travel to work for thousands of commuters in Palmerstown, Lucan and Clondalkin and right across Dublin. That’s why I’m asking the Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport to direct that refunds for the duration of the crisis be made available on these tickets.”
The Taxsaver Commuter Ticket Scheme is designed to help reduce the cost for workers using public transport. So far, it has allowed over 6,000 companies to purchase monthly or annual commuter tickets for their employees and claim tax relief back on these purchases.
Cllr Moynihan continued: “I have raised this with the National Transport Authority, and will also be asking my colleague John Lahart TD, Dublin Spokesperson, to raise it with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.” “Latest projections from the ESRI indicate that there may be turbulent economic times ahead – we need to do everything to support hard-pressed commuters and their families. Families are facing a lot of uncertainty right now – this could help ease the burden for them.”