Travel can be one of the most expensive parts of going to college – try and avoid spending more than you have to. No matter how you travel, there are ways to save your hard-earned cash!
Many students travel to college by bus, Luas or the Dart – here is few ways of avoiding having to pay more than you have to!
Student Leap Card
When you are a student, you can avail of a student leap card, which gives you student discounts across all public transport services, like Dublin Bus and Irish Rail. If you have an android phone, you can top up your card with credit using the leap card app – all you need to do is tag your card off a tagging station either on the bus or on a luas or Irish rail platform. Easy!
There are two leap cards aimed specifically at students – make sure you get the right card for you!
Child Leap Card (16-18yrs) – to avail of child fares!
If you are under 19 years of age you are eligible for a Child Leap Card which offers child fares on public transport. Your name and photograph is printed on it. These cards can only be purchased online. Once an order is submitted, you will receive a reference number via email. Please bring this reference number along with your ID (Passport/ Driving Licence/Garda Age Card) to a validation centre so they can validate your age. Then, they will send your card by post, usually within 5 working days.
Student Leap Card – to avail of cheaper than adult fares & discounts
The Student Leap Card is the national student travel and discount card where full-time students can get discount on fares for Go-Ahead Ireland, Dublin Bus, Luas, Bus Éireann, DART and Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) as well as other local private services in the Republic of Ireland. Student Leap Card discounts are also available from the SLC brand partners. If you have an android phone, you can top up your card with credit using the leap card app and your phones NFC technology, if it has it, and all you need to do is tag your card off a tagging station either on the bus or on a luas or Irish rail platform. Easy!
Eligibility: Click here to see if you are eligible to apply for a Student Leap Card.
How to get a student leap card:
You can apply for your new Student Leap Card online (Note: You will have to attend an official SLC Agent and show a valid college ID to get your card). There is a new fully online verification process or through agents nationwide or by post and costs just €10 (€7 by post).
Student Rambler Ticket
If you use public transport on a regular basis, you should consider the Student Rambler Ticket – there is a 5 Day and 30 Day Student Rambler tickets available on Leap Card. To buy a Student Rambler ticket you must have a Student Leap Card. Rambler tickets can be used for either consecutive or non-consecutive days of travel.
To buy a Student Rambler ticket using a Student Leap Card, simply present your card in one of 1,000 outlets throughout the country, that has the Leap Card sign. The Rambler product will then be loaded electronically on to your Leap Card.
Tips when using Public Transport
- Avoid Cash – Whatever form of transport you use, paying a cash fare is likely the most costly way to go. By paying online, using a Leap Card or using a multi-use ticket, you could save tens or even hundreds of euro a year.
- The Real Time Ireland App integrates all real time arrival information services from Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Dart, Irish Rail and Luas. It allows you to set alerts to tell you when your bus is 10, 20 or 30 minutes away from your stop. It can tell you when you’re coming to a particular stop (GPS dependent).
Private Buses direct to College Campus
Some colleges provide a dedicated bus service through private companies taking students from a pick-up point directly to the College. e.g. BIFE run a Bus for their student from Gorey and Arklow to their Campus and IADT provide a buses from buses Gorey, Arklow, N11 Route with Pick up Points along the way. Check with your college if this service is available.
Bike Rental Scheme
Dublin Bike Scheme is a self-service bike rental system open to everyone from 14 years of age. You can travel through the city centre, commute between home and work and get out and about in Dublin. The annual card costs €25 per year, and allows you to use the bikes on an unlimited basis all year round; you can also associate your Leap Card smart ticket with it (allowing you to use your Leap Card to use the service).
Instructions on how to register for an annual card (and associate it with your Leap Card) are available on the Dublin Bikes website.
Walking and Cycling:
There is a new journey planner at Hit the Road.ie that helps you pick the fastest routes for walking or cycling to college. You will be provided with a number of routes to get you to your destination using various combinations of transport modes including the shortest possible route; the estimated time for your journey; and even the reduction in your carbon emissions! Check it out!
Smarter Travel Campus!
Smarter Travel Campus is a hands-on programme working with Third Level Institutions to implement campus travel plans – or actions to encourage and support students and staff to walk, cycle, take public transport or carpool on the commute to campus.
A growing number of Irish Third Levels are engaging in Smarter Travel, working with students and employees to facilitate more sustainable travel choice. Check if your college is part of this Smarter Travel programme.