A Fine Gael senator has criticised the delays around introducing a new 'flexi' commuter ticket.
Traditionally, commuter or tax-saver tickets have been sold as monthly or annual passes.
However, with a return to workplaces now underway after two years of remote working, a shift to 'hybrid' working models will likely see many people commuting fewer times per week.
That's led to calls for a more 'flexible' ticket for commuters, to cover those who will no longer need to travel to the office five days a week.
Fine Gael Senator John McGahon told Newstalk Breakfast that Ireland's "very delayed" in introducing such a pass.
He said: "As of today, thousands of commuters across this country are still having to fork out money for a monthly or annual tax-saver ticket.
“The NTA agreed to introduce a flexi ticket at the end of Q1 or start of Q2 of 2022 - that’s better late than never.
“I want to make absolutely sure the NTA keep to their committed timeline… and secondly the NTA needs to ensure a mechanism is in place for those who are forced to buy a monthly or annual ticket today to make a seamless transition to the flexi ticket when it’s introduced.”
Senator McGahon said it would be “totally unfair” for people to have to buy an expensive pass today only for a more flexible alternative is to become available next month.
He said the potential savings will ultimately depend on a person’s earnings and tax bracket, but he believes some people could be saving up to €1,200 a year when the new option is introduced.
He observed: “It’ll be different for everyone right across the country, but what’s very clear is it’s an issue that affects thousands of people right across the country.”
The senator said there's "no doubt" the new ticket will eventually happen, but as of now it's not fair that people are paying for commuter tickets for days when they're working from home.