Expressway announces fare increase while introducing discounts for online ticket buyers

Expressway, Ireland’s largest coach network, has announced changes to its fare structure aimed at minimising the impact of rising costs on the business and incentivising online ticket purchases. This is the first fare review since 2018.

Operated by Bus Éireann, the commercial coach service provider outlined changes which will take effect from 21 October. These are: 

  • On average, single fares will increase by six per cent and standard return fares will increase by 12 per cent - this is the first fare increase in almost five years. These fare increases will impact all standard fares which represent one third of Expressway customers;
  • Day return ticket options, which account for less than seven per cent of Expressway ticket purchases, will end on all routes; and
  • A new five per cent discount on all ticket purchases made online on Customers buying tickets online benefit from an enhanced customer experience with a guaranteed seat on their preferred service and notification of service changes.

Young people and free travel pass holders account for a considerable portion of Expressway passengers.

Young people aged 19 – 23 and students 24+ will only pay 50% of the standard fare once they are registered with a Young Adult or Student Leap Card.

Free travel pass holders will continue to travel free of charge.

Eleanor Farrell, Chief Commercial Officer at Bus Éireann, operator of Expressway, said that, like many businesses, the company was facing challenges posed by significant cost increases of 20%-40% across its cost base including utilities, maintenance materials and insurance.

‘Like many commercial businesses today, significant and unprecedented increases in our cost base are a reality we are faced with.

‘While difficult, we must take decisions to protect the business in the interest of our services, our customers and the more than 200 communities that benefit from the connectivity Expressway provides. Taking these difficult decisions now will enable Expressway to minimise the impact of these very challenging times on both our customers and our wider commercial position over the medium-term. We are committed to offering compelling value for money as people make their travel choices and are glad to introduce the discount for booking online as a good savings opportunity.’

This is the first fare increase in almost five years, despite the Consumer Price Index increasing by 12% since 2018 and a current inflation rate running at 8.7%.

Outlining the decision to introduce a new five per cent discount for online customers, Ms Farrell said that ‘online booking is an efficient and simple way for customers to book which will now also mean a five percent discount.

‘Equally, online purchasing provides key data on bookings which allows us to better manage our network and schedules, benefitting both customers and the Expressway service overall.’

Expressway is Bus Éireann’s commercial coach service, operating 270 daily departures serving more than 200 communities across the island of Ireland.

Friday, 7th October, 2022