Similar to the Brazilian Single Ticket, the Leap Card is a rechargeable card used to pay for public transport in Ireland. The card is accepted on buses (urban and intercity), trams and trains from the main cities in the country. In addition to being practical, the Leap Card is the best way to save on transportation, as fares are 20% to 30% cheaper than those paid in cash. And if you are a student, you are entitled to the Student Leap Card which, in addition to the reduced value trips, also gives discounts at partner stores, such as Boots and McDonald’s.
How to obtain the Leap Card
It is possible to buy the Leap Card at one of more than 1,000 sales outlets spread across the country. It is also possible to buy online through this link and personalize it with your photo and name. The cost of the card is € 5 + a minimum initial charge of € 5. In other words, to purchase the card you need a minimum of € 10, but all this amount will be converted into credits for use in transportation.
After having your Leap Card in hand, it is good to register it through the website , so you you can consult the statement of all transactions and block the card if it is lost or stolen.
In the case of students, it is necessary to request the Student Leap card through this site . To be entitled to the student card, you must be enrolled in a course of at least 6 months and have a minimum of 16 class hours per week.
How to load credits
There are several ways to load ( top-up ) the Leap Card:
- through the train stations, Luas and DART machines;
- through the sales outlets spread across the country;
- via the application , if you have an Android smartphone with NFC;
- using the Auto Top-Up feature, which automatically charges the card every time the balance is less than € 10, using your bank account funds. < / li>
Paying for public transport by Leap Card is cheaper than paying in cash. In Luas, for example, a single ticket for 1 zone would cost € 2.10. With Leap, this value drops to € 1.54. And, if you take two or more transports within an interval of up to 90 minutes, you still get an extra discount on the second fare. The full rate list can be viewed here .
Another advantage of the Leap Card is the capping , which works as follows: when you reach a certain spending limit on the day or week, you are entitled to ride free public transport until the end of the period. For example, if it’s Wednesday and you’ve already spent € 27.50 riding the bus, you can ride for free until the end of the week (Sunday) without paying any more for it. This is great for those who use public transport very often.
And for tourists? Is it worth it?
There is a specific version of the Leap Card for those who are only going to spend a few days in Ireland. The Leap Visitor Card entitles you to unlimited travel for 1, 3 or 7 days after first use. Airlink buses, which connect Dublin Airport to the city center, are also included in the rate, and the card can be purchased at the terminal itself, at the information desk.