Study of our transport habits reveals highs and lows in transit sector
ABOUT four million more passengers travelled on the Luas Red line last year than the Green Line, Dublin Bus carried more people than Bus Eireann, and 1.6 million journeys were made on the Dublin Bikes scheme.
We also love Volkswagen cars more than any other, according to the Transport Omnibus report for 2012 compiled and produced by the Central Statistics Office.
The annual omnibus gives an interesting overview of the transport habits of consumers. But importantly, it also paints a picture of the overall health of the economy.
Recent economic data suggest signs of recovery in the economy.
But a closer look confirms that recovery may not have yet trickled down into all sectors. At least not last year.
It is no secret that the transport sector has been hammered by the economic crisis but the CSO figures capture the depressing extent of that impact.
For example, there were 3,999 licensed hauliers in the State in 2012, a decrease of 8.7pc on 2011 which in itself was down 8.4pc on 2010.
The number of licensed hauliers has been declining for the past number of years and the figure for 2012 is more than one-fifth lower than the number of 5,153 in 2006.
The decline in numbers between 2006 and 2012 was highest in Clare (-33.8pc) and Wicklow (-32.9pc) while the lowest was in Leitrim (-3.4pc) and Donegal (-1.9pc)
On average, there were 79,971 goods vehicles registered in Ireland last year. This was down 1.5pc on the 2011 figure of 81,178.
Irish-registered goods vehicles made 10.1 million laden journeys and transported a total of 108.1 million tonnes of freight.
Freight activity was 9.9bn tonne kilometres with quarry products, metal ores and peat and foodstuffs the main commodities being transported.
Shipping provided a more upbeat picture. Irish ports handled 47.6 million tonnes of goods, with 31.2 million received and 16.5 million forwarded.
Compared with 2011, the total tonnage of goods handled increased by 5.7pc and has been increasing since 2009 when a total of 41.8 million tonnes was handled.
On the travel front, fractionally more people passed through Irish airports last year than in 2011 at 24 million. But more people left than arrived.
As expected, Dublin Airport accounted for 80pc of all passengers.
Fewer people used public transport. Some 192.4 million people travelled on scheduled bus services, down 3pc on the previous year.
The number of passengers travelling on Dublin Bus, Iarnrod Eireann and Bus Eireann have been declining since late 2007 and early 2008. But the rate of decline appears to be starting to ease.