How do Leap cards work Limerick

This FAQ explains how the Leap cards work in Limerick City.

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.

And it is the same size as a credit card, so fits neatly into your purse or wallet.

How does it work

A Leap card works like a pre-pay phone:
  • You buy credit from a shop or on-line
  • The shop etc 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 put onto your card, the card-reader sees it the same way that the bus-driver checks a paper or cardboard ticket.

You can have up to five types of ticket on a card at once - although this is more relevant in Dublin than in Limerick at the the moment.

(*)  In Dublin, on the Luas and Dart you must touch your card against the Leap machine at both the start and end of your journey.    Also in Dublin, if you catch a Dublin bus, the don't use the Leap machine (ie validator) on the right-hand side unless you should pay the maximum far.

How to get a Leap card

  • Adult and Child Leapcards can be bought from any Payzone outlet that is offering Leap services. Not all Payzone shops do this - see below for a list of  ones in Limerick that do.

    You need to buy at least €5 credit, and the card deposit (€5 for an adult card or €3 for a child card).
  • If you buy TaxSaver tickets through your work, then you will eventually be issued a personal Leapcard (although this aspect has not been rolled out for Bus Éireann services yet).
  • If you are a student, it is not clear if the Limerick monthly student Leap tickets will be loaded onto standard Adult Leap cards, or if you have to get a student Leap card.   
  • If you are a 3rd level student anywhere else, then you can buy a student Leapcard the Student Leapcard website or one of their agents.  

What Limerick public transport services accept Leap

Currently Leap cards work on
  • Bus Éireann Limerick City buses 
  • Limerick's bicycle-sharing scheme - if you choose this during sign-up instead of getting the Coke Zero Card

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

Leap cards are not yet accepted on:
  • EuroBus
  • Bus Éireann regional services (even ones that pick up or drop off in the city,) - although there are plans to extend Leap to these services in 2019
  • Other regional bus services in County Limerick
  • Taxis
  • Trains to or from Limerick.

Do Leap cards from Dublin work in Limerick?

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

What is the bus-fare with a Leap card

Bus companies usually give a discount of about 15-25% to people who use Leap cards.    

However this is only compulsory for companies that get a subsidy from the government:  they have to agree their fares with the National Transport Authority, who are setting fares to encourage people to use Leap cards.

Private companies that do not get subsidies for their bus services are not required to accept Leap cards, or to give discounts to people who use them.

How to find out your Leap card balance.

  • Go into a Payzone Leap 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,  OR
  • If you have a Smartphone, there is a Leap Top- up app available, which reads the balance from your card.

Payzone Leap card outlets in Limerick

In Limerick, Leap cards and travel credit are available from Payzone shops.  They are not available from the Bus Éireann Travel Centre.

The Payzone website has the official list of shops - which may change over time.

You can also
  • Buy a Leap card from Irish Rail machines in Dublin City
  • 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.

Where to find more information about Leap 

See the Leapcard website for information about how the cards work - especially how they would in Dublin, which has some very different options (eg daily fare capping) that aren't available in the regional cities like Limerick.

See also