THE number of people using Dublin's Luas tram system increased by 300,000 last year, writes Paul Melia.
New figures show that a record 29.4 million journeys were made in 2012, compared with 29.1 million the previous year. The Railway Procurement Agency (RPA) said the numbers were achieved despite the downturn and a fire on the Red line to Tallaght, which resulted in a week with no service.
The busiest periods were at the end of August during the Tall Ships Festival and during December, when shoppers and revellers flocked to the capital.
RPA chief executive Rory O'Connor said that Luas continued to post successful numbers without the need for a government subsidy.
"We have worked hard to reduce costs on the one hand and to increase passenger numbers on the other and we are delighted with the increase in passenger numbers," he said.
Work will begin on linking the two Luas lines this year. It is expected to cost €370m.