Tuesday, 11 March 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
157. Ms McManus asked the Minister for Transport the specific measures the Government intends to bring forward to promote integrated ticketing and smart card technologies in regard to the commitment given in An Agreed Programme for Government; if money has been allocated for this purpose in his Department's Estimates for 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7119/03]
171. Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Transport if he intends to bring forward integrated ticketing and smart card technologies; if money has been allocated for this purpose in his Department's Estimates for 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7169/03]
The Railway Procurement Agency has been given statutory responsibility for the implementation of an integrated ticketing system based on smart card technologies for initial deployment in the greater Dublin area.
The RPA has set a target date of end 2005 for completion of this project. It is examining all options to expedite the delivery of integrated ticketing with a view to bringing forward the proposed launch date.
The development costs of the full integrating ticketing project are estimated to amount to €26.9 million for the total project. In the 2003 Estimates for my Department €3.6 million has been earmarked for integrated ticketing. This has enabled the RPA to proceed to the current phase which will deal with the design and procurement options for the system, including consideration of the potential for procuring the system on a public private partnership basis. The procurement strategy decided upon will determine the appropriate involvement of the private sector and estimated Exchequer financial support for the whole project.
In advance of the introduction of full smart card technology systems, Bus Éireann, Bus Átha Cliath and Iarnród Éireann have introduced systems for purchasing certain tickets online via their websites. They now offer bus and rail integrated tickets for daily, weekly and monthly travel based on magnetic strip technology. In addition Bus Éireann, Bus Átha Cliath and Iarnród Éireann are in discussion with the Railway Procurement Agency about having tickets which will integrate with the Luas systems when services commence next year.
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