COMMUTERS remain wedded to their cars, with seven in every 10 people using the family motor for the vast majority of trips.
A survey of 6,000 households by the National Transport Authority (NTA) shows that despite investment in public transport and a push towards walking and cycling, the car remains the dominant mode of transport.
And while most people make an average of 2.65 trips a day, just over half are short journeys of 3km or less.
Of these, half are made by car instead of walking or cycling, despite the short distance involved. Women make more trips then men – 2.77 a day compared with 2.54 for men.
The results are contained in the National Household Travel Survey which analysed more than 57,000 trips made over the course of last year.
It is used to determine travel patterns and help plan public transport provision to meet demand at peak and off-peak times. Travel diaries were also kept by respondents.
The survey shows that people living in Cork are most attached to their cars, with 85pc saying they had used it most often during the previous week. Cork also has the highest share of taxi usage.
The highest walking rates are in Limerick and the bus is most commonly used in Galway. The bicycle is most popular in Dublin, along with the DART and Luas.
It also shows that different modes are more popular for certain purposes. While the car is a strong contender for most activities – especially for shopping, travelling to work or to education – taxis and hackneys are used for leisure trips, along with cycling and walking.
For public transport, the survey shows that people who use the bus or train believe it is good value and comfortable. However, bus services do not score highly as a fast mode of transport.
In rural areas, four in every five people are within a 15-minute walk of a shop, post office, doctor or pub; but people living in Roscommon, South Tipperary, Clare and rural Connacht "in general" are less well-served with these facilities.
One in three people had not taken a trip of more than 50km or more in the previous three months, with most long trips made in September and October.
"Those who are most likely to make these trips are families with kids, aged 35-49 years and middle to higher social grade who are also more likely to have a car," the survey says.
Separate data also shows that the number of trips made on Iarnrod Eireann fell slightly by 1.2pc to 36.92 million last year, but rose on Luas by 0.8pc to 29.32 million. Dublin Bus trips fell 1.5pc to 113.28 million, while those on Bus Eireann rose 0.5pc to 28.63 million.
It also shows the average age of the Dublin Bus fleet now stands at 7.5 years, compared with 5.6 years for Bus Eireann's city fleet and 5.4 years for expressway and Dublin commuter coaches.