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An extra 19 million people used State-funded public transport services in 2018


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An additional 19 million people used State-funded public transport services last year.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) says some 269 million trips were made on Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Luas and Go-Ahead Ireland services last year, up 19 million or 7.5pc compared with 2017.

This is the sixth year in a row that numbers have grown, up from a low of just under 208 million in 2012.

Dublin Bus is the biggest transport operator, carrying 143 million passengers, up more than seven million.

But the biggest percentage increase of 12.9pc was posed by Bus Éireann, which carried 35.1 million passengers, up four million.

Numbers using regional city bus services in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford rose 13.2pc.

Irish Rail saw demand increase by 5pc on commuter services and 4pc on Dart, with inter-city trips up to 12.4 million, a rise of one million. The company carried a total of 48 million last year.

Some 42 million used Luas, up 11pc, with the Green Line extension to Broombridge and use of longer trams credited for the hike.

Go-Ahead Ireland became a transport operator in Autumn 2018, and provided 1.3 million passenger journeys on Dublin routes including the new 175 which connects CityWest to UCD and extensions to other routes including the 33A linking Skerries, Swords and Dublin Airport.

“These numbers are very positive and are a testament to the range and quality of services provided by our public transport operators,” NTA chief executive Anne Graham said.

“It is clear that when there is a reliable, high quality, value-for-money public transport offering that customers will respond positively to it.”

But she said that improvements in the network were needed, and more buses would be purchased this year, along with low-emission vehicles, coupled with additional fleet for Irish Rail which would enter service in early 2021.

Transport Minister Shane Ross said €8.6bn would be invested in public transport over the coming years, coupled with increased public funding to improve services.

Online Editors