Fuck it, the pensioners were the only major demographic to see their wealth grow throughout the great recession and yet, because they're more likely to vote they kept on getting allowances and raises from the Gov, 50 euro surcharge, surely 50 euro per year for unlimited travel is more than fair and something all of them can afford.
No, it's not something ALL of them can afford. And, for the record, they didn't keep all their allowances during the recession either.
€50 mightn't be much to you or me but to those whose only income is the retirement pension, it could be a lot. In any case, if it were to start at €50, it wouldn't stay there.
On the other hand, there are some well-heeled pensioners (although it's a moot point as to how often they might use their free travel card).
So why not treat it as a benefit-in-kind, making it potentially taxable? Each pensioner could be given an initial allowance of so much free travel and thereafter, it could be chargeable to taxation. The technology exists to gather the information too.
This would not affect those on very low incomes as they'd not be liable to tax.