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Wednesday 20 September 2017

No room on the Luas: frustrated commuters left stranded

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe opens the door on the first Luas cross-city tram to stop at the Cabra station during testing. Picture: Maxwells
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe opens the door on the first Luas cross-city tram to stop at the Cabra station during testing. Picture: Maxwells
John Downing

John Downing

Many people are left stranded by the Luas on workdays as trams are packed to capacity, Fine Gael Dublin Rathdown Senator Neale Richmond has said.

Mr Richmond said that up to one in 10 commuters fails to get on board a Luas train at least once a week due to a lack of space.

Six out of 10 passengers regularly fail to get a seat at rush-hour - while one in three travellers insists they "never" get a seat at the busy times.

He said this points up the need for more carriages and better rail platforms to facilitate the growing number of people who want to use the service.

The senator completed his own survey of Luas commuters in recent weeks and said the findings mean more must be done to accommodate Luas passengers.

"My recent Luas survey shows that 9pc of Green Line Luas users are unable get on the train on a weekly basis.

"A further 4pc of people say they are unable to get on the train on a daily basis.

"This is due to the carriages being full to capacity at rush hour," he said.

"Furthermore, of the commuters I surveyed, a very high 62pc said they can never get a seat on the Luas at rush hour. And 31pc answered 'almost never' when asked the same question," Mr Richmond added.

The senator said that he had written to the Luas operator, Transdev, with the results of his survey.

He said this received a positive reply from Transdev with a promise of more tram carriages and the lengthening of platforms at several stations.

"I am pleased to report that seven new longer trams are being ordered, and to facilitate this 11 platforms on the original Green Line, from Stillorgan into town, are being lengthened to 54 metres in order to cope with the introduction of longer trams," he said.

Mr Richmond said that this should increase capacity of the trams to take more passengers, reducing the long wait some commuters are forced to endure.

"Transdev may also want to consider reducing the amount of seating on the trams in order to increase the amount of standing space needed to get more commuters on board at peak times.

"With clear signage mandating patrons to give up seats to elderly people and those with access issues, this could work to increase the space in each tram," he said.

Irish Independent

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