Concerns youth travel card will not be delivered for all

14 October 2021

Labour transport spokesperson Duncan Smith has raised huge concern that the much heralded youth travel card will not be delivered for all under 24s. Questioning the Tánaiste in the Dáil, Deputy Smith was met with dithering, not detail, on the implementation of such a scheme.

Deputy Smith said:

“I was concerned to hear that the youth travel card was a tacked on to Budget 2022 at the last minute, probably in response to Labour’s radical proposals to make public transport free for all young people. From the Tánaiste’s dithering response to me today, it looks like this is a half-baked idea set to score headlines not make genuine climate progress.

“The funding doesn’t add up either. Our alternative budget would have provided free public transport for all children and students at a cost of €87 million. To do half this, government would need to add on an additional €18.5 million to what is currently proposed. The lack of clarity from the Tánaiste on the technical operation of this measure leaves me with zero confidence that impediments to the youth travel card will be overcome.

“The youth travel card option cannot be just for young people with leap cards. It must apply to all young people equally. We already have regional inequity in access to public transport and it can’t be further perpetuated through this scheme.

“We need to change our habits in transport and we must do so from a young age. If government were serious about lowering our emissions and meeting our climate targets, this youth travel card would have been well thought through and ready for implementation before it was announced.”

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