Calls for tougher actions on retailers surcharging the reloads of Leap Cards

By Echo Reporter

SURCHARGES which cost customers an additional 50 cents each time they top up their Leap Card, should lead to tougher sanctions for retailers, according to Sinn Féin councillor Mark Ward.

Leap Cards provide people with the opportunity to travel on Dublin Bus services without carrying loose change.

Leap card 

Correspondence between Cllr Ward and the National Transport Authority, reveals the NTA are “opposed to surcharging customers for the reload of Leap Cards.”

Cllr Ward says there have been reports of shops in Clondalkin adopting the practice, and urges customers to boycott retailers involved.

“Surcharges add costs to people who rely on public transport as their means of travel,” said Cllr Ward.

He continued: “By adding to the already high cost of public transport, these charges are a disincentive to use public transport and as such have a detrimental impact on the environment and vulnerable members of society. Leap Cards are also used by students who rely on cheaper travel to get to and from college.”

An NTA spokesperson said: “We encourage all customers encountering such issues to report them, and we will work with our suppliers (Hewlett Packard and Payzone) to prevent this from occurring. We have previously supported Payzone where they have withdrawn the top-up facility from agents where such practices have continued despite warnings.

“In addition, NTA encourages customers to vote with their feet and use another shop or facility to reload their Leap Cards.”

In 2014, The Echo found individual retailers were imposing surcharges for PayPoint pre-paid bills in Ballyfermot, at the store owner’s discretion.

The NTA say there is no charge to reload cards via Luas or Irish Rail ticket machines, and that they also offer a Leap top-up app for NFC equipped Android phones.

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