With return-to-work protocols being evaluated across the country, many employees will find new ways to get around.
most of us won’t be coming back nine to five, five days a week, and with more and more expensive car transport, we may or may not consider public transport again.
In automotive terms, although there have been no major budget measures, the ones that do exist are bad enough. Diesel and petrol cars will no longer be sold from 2030 with an outright ban from 2045.
The price of gasoline has skyrocketed for external reasons, now steadily tilting € 1.60 per liter with no relief in sight. Most of these costs are taxes, but you will have to wait a long time if you expect it to be reduced.
There are now 20 VRT bands with a focus on imposing fines on older, dirtier cars – rate increases apply from 1pc to 4pc from January. While the recent nitrogen oxides tax, not to mention Brexit, excludes virtually all but the most specialized imports from the UK.
The good news is that electric vehicles (EVs) retain their € 5,000 tax break until 2023, and companies can still provide EVs, without payment of benefits in kind, to workers until 2025. These measures may persuade some to switch to electric, but the cars themselves are still very expensive, and for many families and commuters, unaffordable. So what are the options?
Sixteen corridors, eight thorns… it looks like an alien invasion. But the trees, roads and overturned paths bear witness to the ambitious deployment of the buses, which will see 230 km of reserved lanes and buses running every four-eight minutes during rush hour. 12 more orbital routes with connecting suburbs to Dublin city, train stations and Luas by 2035.
Leap Card fares are up to 31% cheaper than single-use fares (see panel) and offer integrated service with public transport across the country – full capacity is back. After a rough start, a big investment in technology now makes it possible to see applications and route planners in real time on all networks.
Your employer will be concerned about making your return to work acceptable, and using the tax-saving travel program is one way. As an employee, you then ‘pay off’ the cost of the ticket over 12 months by deducting gross income – that is, tax-free – so that a 40% taxpayer saves 52% on the annual cost. It includes the Iarnród Éireann, Luas, Dart, bus and Bus Éireann fares. As an example, an annual ticket for the commuter train, Dart, bus and Luas costs € 1,950 gross, which allows someone who pays taxes of 20pc of € 555.75 and € 945, € 75 for a higher rate taxpayer. See taxsaver.ie for more information.
Abandoned the second family car during Covid? Many families did just that after seeing their cars collecting dust during the various lockups.
Hiring on a pay-as-you-go basis can be the answer when you need to travel. GoCar.ie has a large fleet available from its “Go Bases” which you can access by signing up with a selfie and your driver’s license. The first 50km are free with each reservation and 50c / km billed thereafter.
You can expect to pay depending on distance, location, and type of car. An electric Renault Zoe would cost around € 77 for a 24-hour period covering 100 km.
When is a scooter not a scooter? When it is a “powered personal transporter”. Finally, legislation is being passed to legalize electric scooters, although it may come as a surprise to many to learn that they cannot be driven on public roads today. Common in all cities across the EU, there are plenty of companies waiting behind the scenes to introduce rental booths, including FreeNow, Bleeper, Moby and Zipp. Watch this place.
Electric bikes are a popular way to get around, but can be expensive. You have to spend over $ 3,000 for a really good model, but you can also rent them.
While there are plenty of short-term e-bike rentals across the country including GreenAer in Wicklow, Electric Bike Trails in Leitrim and Dingle Bikes in Kerry, Moby offers a monthly subscription service at € 79 for an electric bike. that you keep at home. as well as its short-term rental of 30 minutes for € 3.
Remember that the Cycle-to-Work program has been increased to € 1,500 and also covers e-bikes, where your employer buys the bike and deducts the net amount through payroll deduction.
The success in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick of the city bike programs proves the rule that if you build it, they will come. Massive investment during the Covid lockdown in cycle lanes and ongoing work on greenways has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of cyclists commuting to work.
For € 35 per year, you get 30 minutes of free travel (95% of users no longer pay). Bleeper is not locked in the stations, you can leave the bikes conveniently parked anywhere. It costs around € 1 per hour or € 12.50 per month for four daily trips.
There are different options for group transport depending on your needs. For obvious reasons, Dublin fares are the highest as they can cover commuter train, bus, train, Dart and Luas.
The prices are cheapest when you buy a monthly or annual ticket, using a Leap card (€ 5 deposit, minimum travel credit € 5) under the Taxsaver.ie program, led by the employer. The following examples are for an annual ticket, gross price:
Rail and Dart: € 1,450
City bus: € 1,450
Bus and Luas: € 1,800
Train, Bus, Dart and Luas: € 1,950
Waterford: 700 €
Limerick and Galway: € 770 each
Cork: 875 €
Check which areas are allowed for travel, as some areas are excluded, as are some roads in the city.
Regular commuters can pay an annual charge of € 5,120 for unlimited travel on Irish Railways.
The combined ticket to also include Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann is € 6,530.
The ticket must be purchased by your employer. The saving depends on whether you pay the tax at the standard rate (20pc) or at the marginal rate (40pc). USC and PRSI are included, which means a 40pc taxpayer gets a 52pc deduction.