Bus Feda continues to operate a daily service between Donegal and Galway but at a much reduced frequency.

Welcome for cheaper bus fare extension

Donegal bus companies have welcomed the budget announcement that the Young Adult Card (YAC) will be extended.

The transport initiative will now be made available to 16, 17 and 18 year olds following an expansion of the scheme in Budget 2023.

The YAC offers students and young people a 50 per-cent reduction in transport rates. The scheme was announced in May by Minister for Transport, Eamonn Ryan and the National Transport Authority.


The low fares applied to all subsidised public transport journeys on Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann, Luas, Go- Ahead and TFI Local Link.

The scheme was then extended to young people and students travelling on commercial buses nationwide, including the John McGinley Donegal to Dublin route and Feda O’Donnell’s Donegal to Galway route.

The managing director of John McGinley Coaches, James McGinley, said: “The news that the budget would extend the card to 16 year olds has been very welcome and will certainly please a lot of parents.

“Young students starting college are aged from 17 upward, so it left a huge chunk of people out.”

John McGinley Coaches started accepting the YAC last weekend. The reduced fare costs students €20 for a return ticket from Donegal to Dublin.

They said the scheme has been very popular among students travelling with them so far.

This academic year the company has seen the number of students travelling with them steadily increasing to pre-covid levels.


“This is our first proper year of trading post-Covid. The last two years have been very quiet because a lot of students were studying online. Before Covid we would have brought up to 500 students home to Donegal from Dublin every weekend, we are now seeing those numbers starting to go up again,” he said.

Asked if the YAC has played a role increasing passenger numbers, Mr McGinley said: “It hasn’t worked to drive more passengers, but what it will do is give them better value for money and that is very important in the current climate.”

Reduced fare tickets for commercial buses must be purchased online.

Those eligible for the scheme can apply on the Leap card website.

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