Commuting and Travel

Smarter Travel


The aim of Smarter Travel is to get us all to think about how and why we make travel choices for all the trips we make.  It's about considering the impact our travel decisions have on others and on ourselves.


TFI Smarter Travel Logo with graphic of a pedestrian, bike, bus, tram, train and car.


DCU is a programme partner of the National Transport Authority's TFI Smarter Travel  behaviour change programme,      which focuses on promoting and encouraging staff and students to sustainably and actively commute and beyond.


Many of the below initiatives are coordinated by, or devised in conjunction with, the TFI Smarter Travel programme. These initiatives aim to make sustainable and active travel a more attractive option for those travelling to DCU.


Smarter Travel Challenges and Programmes


DCU staff and students participate in the NTA-run challenges and programmes. DCU encourages participation in these initiatives as they allow participants to experience first-hand the benefits of active travel. 

Marchathon is a fun team Step Challenge which takes place during March each year. The Step Challenge is open to all DCU staff and students, with prizes on offer for participants throughout the course of the challenge.

Walktober is a fun team Step Challenge which takes place during October each year. The Step Challenge is open to all DCU staff and students, with prizes on offer for participants throughout the course of the challenge.


Walktober 2023 

Poster outlining the DCU-run competitions for Walktober 2023 - Week 1 – Best team name Week 2 – Best themed team photo/collage Week 3 – Best active commuting suggestion Week 4 – Overall DCU winning team (most steps as per Active Travel Logger)  See below for more info

Waltober 2023 -  DCU Competitions


This Smarter Travel step challenge is a great way to reconnect with friends and colleagues and to make new friends. There are also lots of prizes to be won, including vouchers for the DCU restaurants and coffee docks. 

Register for Walktober here!

To participate all you need is a team of 3-6 friends/colleagues from within DCU (staff or students), select a team captain and team name and all sign up to Active Travel Logger website. There are instructions there if you are having any difficulties. If you have signed up from previous challenges then you can use the same login details. 
You do NOT have to walk together in teams but you can! All steps can be counted using phone/pedometer/smart watch etc. from Monday to Sunday!  Wheelchair users can use an odometer - see Walktober website for more info including participant guide.

You must be able to verify your steps in case you are randomly selected by the NTA - you can do this with a screen shot of steps on your phone, step tracker etc. Note: you may not be able to receive prizes if you are unable to verify how many steps you've taken.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) also run competitions each week with their own prizes on offer. You can stay up to date on what those competitions involve by keeping an eye on here.

The details for the weekly internal DCU competitions are as follows:

Week 1 – Best team name; get your thinking caps on when naming your team. The wittiest names typically win this prize!

Week 2 – Best themed team photo/collage; while it's not necessary for Walktober teams to walk together to clock up your steps, we do love to see teams meeting up and getting their steps on! Get a group pic or make a picture collage of your team out stepping together and email it to to be in with a chance of winning prizes for your team.

Week 3 – Best active commuting suggestion; at the bottom of DCU's Smarter Travel webpage you will find a feedback form. Give us your feedback on how to improve DCU for those that walk to campus and we will award a prize for the best suggestions.

Week 4 – Overall DCU winning team (most steps as per Active Travel Logger) 
Need a Team or Team Members?
As there is a minimum requirement of three members per team; If you need more members for your team or would like to join a team please let us know by email ( and we will try to match you up. 

Health and Environmental benefits 
Walking has many health benefits and commuting by foot is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, just two more great reasons to get involved with this fun challenge! The 2023 Walktober Step Challenge will kicks-off today, October 2nd and runs until October 29th. Walktober is a fun, and free, team Step Challenge that is open to all staff and students. 
Active commuter facilities at DCU
DCU has a host of active commuters facilities, such as showers and changing facilities, on all campuses. More information on these facilities, plus some useful resources to help plan your journey, can be found here.

The Ready, Set, Cycle programme aims to encourage and support staff and students to begin, continue or increase cycling on their commute and beyond. Participants have the chance to win some great prizes while also being offered guidance and resources on many aspects of cycling – from what bike suits their specific needs to how they can purchase a bike through the Cycle to Work Scheme.

Smarter Travel Incentives for DCU Staff

DCU staff can avail of the Cycle to Work Scheme through the University. The scheme is a Government tax incentive designed to facilitate employees’ purchase of a bicycle and/or cycle equipment tax-free.

The key objectives of the scheme are to:

  • Encourage more employees to cycle to and from work
  • Contribute to lowering carbon emissions
  • Help reduce traffic congestion
  • Help improve health and fitness

More information on the Cycle To Work Scheme Work.

Taxsaver Commuter Ticket Scheme

This scheme is available to DCU staff. It is a salary sacrifice arrangement where DCU purchases annual commuter tickets on behalf of employees and the cost is recuperated through payroll, thus employees don’t pay PRSI, USCI or pension-related deductions.

The savings on your travel expenses can be quite significant. The Scheme applies to the Annual Travel Passes issued by Irish Rail, Dublin Bus, Luas, Bus Eireann and Matthews Coaches.  

Find more information on the DCU Travel Benefits page or on

Staff and Student Smarter Travel Survey


Each year, DCU conducts the Smarter Travel Survey in conjunction with the National Transport Authority. The survey is an important tool for DCU as it it enables:

  • Gauging an understanding of how staff and students get to campus (a breakdown of transport modes used)
  • Staff and students to give feedback on their commute to DCU
  • DCU to calculate the carbon footprint associated with staff and student commuting


DCU has a target of 90% of staff and students commuting to campus via sustainable modes. As of 2023, that figure has reached ~80%. The breakdown from the most recently conducted survey can be seen below.


Breakdown of results from DCU's Travel Survey 2023


DCU Smarter Travel Working Group


The DCU Smarter Travel Group consists of staff and student representatives that meet to discuss and plan implementations that will assist in achieving DCU's target of having 90% of campus users using a sustainable form of transport. 



Smarter Travel Feedback/Suggestions 



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