Using a Leap Card on Dublin Bus

How do I use a Leap Card on Dublin Bus?

You should pay by placing the Leap Card on to the drivers ticket machine and telling the driver your destination and the correct amount will be deducted.

For longer journeys (over 13 stages) you can pay a flat fare by touching the Leap Card against the validator, located on the right hand side as you enter the bus. A green light will appear and you will also hear a beep to notify you that you have touched on successfully.

You do not need to touch off when exiting the bus.

What does "over 13 stages" mean? What is a stage? A bus stop? I got a bus from Bray to Donnybrook. I had no idea whether it was 1 stage or not?

I touched on and touched off. But now I realise that you are not supposed to touch off.

OK, I got the answer on Reddit

level 1
35 points · 1 month ago
The Dublin Bus stage system is like the monkeys and ladder experiment. The people who invented it have long gone. No one understands it but we all continue to defend it and propagate the lie that we know anything about it. It's a deep, dark mystery.

level 2
1 point · 1 month agoYeah. I think the original stages are based on the old tram stops, which in turn were based on stops for stagecoaches


Frequent Poster


Frequent Poster
I think you only touch on and off on Luas and Dart. When you touch on at origin it deducts a set amount, greater than the actual fare. When you touch off at destination it refunds part of it. If you register your card you can see all these transactions in the history of the card (

In Dublin Bus you only touch once (when you get into the bus). You can always go to the driver if you don't know how many stages you're going to travel. If you want to know in advance, you can check the fare calculators above or the timetables on the Dublin Bus website, e.g. at the bottom of this.

That is very helpful. So from Sandymount into Pearse St. on the no. 1 is only 7 stages, so I go to the driver.

But if I wanted to go to Santry, I would just tap on.

I got the 145 Bus from Bray to Donnybrook at it looks like 26 stages, so it was good value for money.