Ticket machine upgrades will speed up boarding times for Cork's buses

Ticket machine upgrades will speed up boarding times for Cork's buses
Upgrades to the ticket machines on Cork buses will improve boarding times but public transport campaigners in Cork have called for right-hand side Leap Card machines to spped up boarding times.

The National Transport Authority of Ireland has told The Echo that Cork's Bus Éireann ticket machines will be upgraded in the new year.

"A software upgrade for the Bus Éireann ticketing machines has been developed. This will result in reduced boarding times at all stops, and make it quicker and easier for customers to board the bus."

"This upgrade is due to implemented during quarter one of 2020."

This comes after calls for Bus Éireann to introduce quicker payment methods in Cork.

Cork Public Transport Campaign has called on Bus Éireann to introduce right-hand leap machines and on-street validators for Cork's buses.

Sam McCormack, who is part of the campaign, says there is a huge issue with boarding times and payment methods on the city's buses.

"It's not unusual to be sitting on the bus at a busy stop for 10-15 minutes while the driver boards passengers paying by cash or Leap."

"It's not unusual to be sitting on the bus at a busy stop for 10-15 minutes while the driver boards passengers paying by cash or Leap."
"It's not unusual to be sitting on the bus at a busy stop for 10-15 minutes while the driver boards passengers paying by cash or Leap."

"Right-hand side or on-street validators are already in use in Dublin, on both Dublin Bus and the Luas. The infrastructure is there, it just seems the NTA and Bus Éireann are slow to implement it."

However, the NTA says this is not possible.

"While the ticketing machines on Bus Éireann buses and Dublin Bus vehicles are from the same supplier, they are not actually compatible, so the retro-fitting of pole validators to the Bus Éireann machines is not feasible."

Sam added that the NTA and Bus Eireann should phase out cash payments on city services.

The NTA said the Cork Metropolitan Area Draft Transport Strategy mentions smarter ticketing, and the NTA spokesperson says Leap Cards, contactless bank cards, and Apple Pay will eventually be rolled out on all services across the country. "However we have no timeframe for this as of yet."

Another issue Sam points out is the lack of timed ticketing and free transfers. "Those who need to change buses or take multiple buses are currently paying the full fare each time they board a different bus."

"In London, you pay a flat fare of £1.50 and transfers are free for 60 minutes after your first tap-on."

"In Cork, two buses means paying each fare separately, with a Leap Card this costs up to €4, with cash up to €5.60."

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