This card makes public transport sustainable and affordable for young people in Ireland, and is the first time a proposal from Dáil na nÓg (National Youth Parliament) and Comhairle na nÓg (Local Youth Councils) has been included in the Government's National Budget.
COST IS A BARRIER TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT
In 2019, Comhairle na nÓg (Local Youth Councils) delegates identified affordability as a barrier that young people face in using public transport, a factor that discourages them from engaging in community and civic life (especially in rural Ireland). To address this problem, Comhairle na nÓg voted at the Dáil na nÓg (National Youth Parliament) to promote sustainable transport, and the initiative was progressed with help and expert guidance by Minister Roderic O'Gorman over two years.
HALVING THE COST FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
In July 2021, Comhairle na nÓg proposed a Youth Travel Card for the 2022 Irish Government's National Budget, including a 50% discount on all public transport systems for young people under the age of 23. The proposal was accepted, and was later included by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in the October 2022 National Budget announcement. The Youth Travel Card initiative is now active, and has been recognised as a key achievement in the inclusion of voices of youth in public policymaking.
YOUNG PEOPLE INFLUENCE POLICY
The project's impact on the National Budget sets a precedent for young people to influence political decision-making processes through active participation. The project also encourages the Government to listen to children and young people, and to take their views into account in a meaningful way. By improving young people's access to public, civic, and community spaces, Minister O'Gorman continues to carry forth the work of Comhairle na nÓg, Dáil na nÓg, Seanad na nÓg (National Youth Assembly of Ireland), and other participation structures under the umbrella of the National Participation Office.