Wexford Bus, a private bus operator that manages express bus services between Wexford and Dublin City, is challenging all organisations to dispel the Tax Saver Ticket myth. Popular belief is that Tax Saver Tickets are only available through CIE, this is a myth, the scheme is in fact open to all licensed private and state owned public transport operators nationwide.
It has come to the attention of Wexford Bus that many organisations including state and semi-state organisations are only facilitating their employees to purchase Tax Saver Tickets through the CIE companies such as Bus Eireann, Irish Rail or Dublin Bus. The result is that employees are not being allowed to choose the best service for their needs and budget and in many cases are paying a higher ticket price for commuting to work than they should. With the recent fare increase announcements from CIE the cost implications of these practices are now even greater.
The Tax Saver Commuter Ticket scheme is run in conjunction with the Revenue Commissioners as an incentive for workers to use public transport. Employers can purchase monthly, quarterly or annual Tax Saver Tickets on behalf of employees commuting to work by licensed public transport bus or rail. The scheme is not confined to State-owned forms of public transport and can include private operators if they are approved licensed transport providers.
Employers purchase the Tax Saver Tickets on behalf of employees and the cost of the ticket is then deducted from their gross salary so no tax, PRSI, universal social charge or benefit in kind is paid on this amount. The saving to the employee is up to 52% of the ticket price. Employers also benefit from this scheme as they can make PRSI savings of up to 10.75% of the total ticket cost.
Wexford Bus is encouraging all employees interested in the Tax Saver Ticket scheme to shop around and look at all the transport options available to them. Lorene Crowley, Commercial Director, Wexford Bus explains “We are getting an increasing number of calls from commuters who would like to purchase a Wexford Bus Tax Saver Ticket but are not being facilitated by their employers. We have been surprised to hear that organisations such as the Health Service Executive have policies in place whereby they only allow their employees to avail of the Tax Saver Ticket schemes through CIE. This is hugely limiting for commuters that are travelling further distances to work and who would like to use one of the private bus operators like Wexford Bus. If employees are coming up against these barriers we would encourage them to speak with the HR department and the bus operator in question. The administration of the Tax Saver Ticket scheme is very straightforward and can be made easy by the bus service provider, so there is no good reason why organisations cannot facilitate employees.”
Lorene went on to explain what savings commuters could experience by shopping around “A large portion of our daily commuters travelling from the surrounding areas of Wexford, Enniscorthy, Gorey and Arklow are Tax Saver Ticket holders. We offer the shortest journey time on the Wexford to Dublin route, free wi-fi, a choice of commuter friendly services and monthly Tax Saver Tickets from as little as €110 euro net. The gross cost of a Wexford Bus ticket from Gorey to Dublin is just €2600 per annum in comparison a Bus Eireann ticket for the same route is €3008 and an Irish Rail ticket is €3090. Employees should be facilitated to choose the operator that provides them with the best service and value. We believe that we will get more commuters using our service if employers open this scheme up to all public transport operators.”
With fuel prices at an all-time high of 162 cent per litre (according to AA Roadwatch) this year is the year that drivers will really have to sit up and take notice and consider the Tax Saver Ticket option. The cost of fuel is a key factor in commuters re-examining how they travel to work and then subsequently opting to take the Bus. Lorene explained “A growing number of commuters have switched to Wexford Bus because of the huge savings they can make compared with driving to work. For example, if a driver commutes by car between Gorey and Dublin City 5 days per week they would typically spend €133 on fuel alone. That is €133 before they pay any insurance, maintenance or parking (fuel cost is based on an average fuel price of 162 cent per litre and 29.99mpg as used by AA Roadwatch). In comparison a Wexford Bus Annual Tax Saver Ticket costs only €24 net per week for the same number of journeys (this is the net cost for an earner on the higher tax rate).”
Wexford Bus is a private bus operator that manages express bus services between Wexford and Dublin Airport and City. This operates up to 22 times daily, offers the shortest journey time by public transport on this route and has free Wi-Fi available for all passengers. Wexford, Enniscorthy, Gorey, Camolin, Arklow and Ferns are all served. A new service will shortly be introduced by Wexford Bus to serve Arklow town and north Wicklow.