In association with - Galway's public transport information site

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Galway city buses now accept Leap smartcards for fare payments

From Sunday 28 September 2014, the LEAP card will be accepted as a way of paying fares on Galway City bus services.

What is the LEAP card

The LEAP card is Ireland's version of London's Oyster Card.

 It is a "smartcard" that can be used to pay fares on the buses, trains and other services that have been set up to accept it.

How does it work

A LEAP card is like a pre-pay phone:
  • You buy credit from a shop or on-line
  • The shop loads the credit for you
  • Each time you use public transport, you put the your LEAP-card onto a reader, tell the driver what fare you want, and the cost is taken from your credit.

LEAP cards can also handle other options, eg daily (24-hour), weekly (7-day) and monthly (calendar month) tickets: if one of these is loaded onto your card, then it is recognized by the card reader the same way that the bus-driver checks a paper or cardboard ticket.

How to get a LEAP card

  • If you buy TaxSaver tickets through your work, then you will be issued a personal LEAP card (most likely for your November monthly ticket, or later).
  • If you are a student, it appears that in Galway the monthly student tickets will just be loaded onto standard Adult LEAP cards.  
    (In Dublin, the Student Travelcard is managed separately, and it is likely that the same approach will be used in Galway eventually.)
  • Adult and Child Leapcards can be bought from any Payzone outlet that is offering LEAP services. See below for a list of Galway Payzone shops

    You need to buy at least E5 credit, and the card deposit (E5 for an adult card or E3 for a child card).

What Galway services accept LEAP

To start with, LEAP cards work on
  • CityDirect buses
  • Bus Éireann Galway City buses (ie routes 401 through 410)

You can also use LEAP cards on:
  • Dublin Bus services,
  • Some Bus Éireann regional services in the Dublin area
  • Bus Éireann city services in Cork
  • DART services in Dublin
  • Some other private bus services around the country (eg Matthews Coaches, Wexford Bus, Swords Express) - and others are being added.

They are not yet accepted on:
  • Bus Éireann regional services (even ones that pick up or drop off in the city, eg 424 or 419)
  • Other regional bus services in County Galway.
  • Taxis
  • Trains to or from Galway
However there are plans to have more services accept LEAP cards soon.

Do LEAP cards from Dublin work in Galway?

Yes. LEAP is a nation-wide card. There is no difference between cards sold in Dublin, Cork or Galway. A LEAP card from Galway will work in Dublin or Cork provided is has either credit or an appropriate ticket loaded onto it.

How to find out your LEAP card balance.

  • Go into a Payzone outlet shop, and ask for a balance check.   OR
  • When you catch the bus, the machine shows your balance - and beeps if it is below a certain level.

Payzone LEAP card outlets in Galway

In Galway, Leap cards and travel credit are available from Payzone shops - and possibly from the Bus Éireann Travel Centre.
The Payzone website has the official list of shops - which may change over time.

As at today, they are:

City centre

  • Easons, 33 Shop St
  • Londis High Street (open 24 hours/day)
  • Spar Mainguard St Galway

East side of the city

  • Supervalu, Ballybane Shopping Centre
  • Mullans Convenience Store Castlelawn Heights Headford Road
  • Spar, Galway Technology Park, Parkmore

West side of the city

  • Maxol Westside, Westside Shopping Centre
  • Clybaun Stores, Clybaun Road Knocknacarra Co Galway
  • Cotters Stores, Shangort Road Knocknacarra
  • Cappagh Stores, Ros Ard Cappagh Road Barna

Outside the city

  • Nestors Supervalu, Orantown Centre, Oranmore
  • O'Tooles Supervalu, Bishop Street Tuam

You can also
  • Top-up your LEAP card at Luas, DART and Commuter Rail ticket machines in  the Dublin area.
  • Buy travel credit on-line on the Leap website - but you must check the balance on the card at a Payzone shop or use it on a CityDirect bus in order to "load" this credit onto your card.

More information

See either the: