Friday 13 January 2012


This is a leap card.

Rarer than a hen's tooth, almost as elusive as a unicorn - at least that was the rumour around these parts when it was first launched.

In fact, I was able to get one relatively easily by going into Dublin Bus's head office on O'Connell Street.

'But what is it?' you cry.

It is Dublin public transport's attempt to catch up with the rest of the civilised world and introduce an integrated ticketing system.  Before now this didn't really exist.  Leap cards work a bit like Oyster cards for the Londoners among you - you tap it against a reader when you get on a bus (or a commuter train or a Luas tram) and it deducts the ticket price from whatever amount you've loaded on it.  EXCEPT unlike with Oyster cards, it doesn't automatically deduct a fixed amount - you still have to tell the bus driver where you're going.

Still, this niggle aside, leap is the most exciting thing to happen to public transport in this city (where, believe me, pt is not one of the things we boast to tourists about).  Also it's green, which is pleasing to me, and I quite like the name.

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