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Sunday 23 September 2018

Extra 16 million trips made on bus, rail, tram

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Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Trips made on Iarnród Éireann services are back to boomtime levels, as overall journeys across the public transport network rose by 7pc, or more than 16 million, last year.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) said that 251 million journeys were made on publicly funded services across Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann and Luas, with 45.5 million made by rail, the same number as in 2007.

The NTA also said that the performance by Dublin Bus was "very strong" and the company provided the largest number of passenger journeys in 2017 at more than 136 million. This represented an increase of more than 9pc, and is the fourth year of passenger growth.

Iarnród Éireann saw passenger journeys increase from 42.8 million to 45.5 million, up 6pc, in part due to an increase of services through the Phoenix Park tunnel.

Spokesman Barry Kenny said it was "notable" that growth was across the entire network, and not just in the Greater Dublin commuter belt.

"We're delighted that growth is continuing and we need to continuously invest and develop our services to meet demand," he said.

The figures also show that Luas numbers increased by more than 10pc to 37.6 million, which are expected to increase this year due to the extension of the Green line to Broombridge.

Bus Éireann figures for 2017 are 31.2 million - down on the previous year's 32.1 million - but that's mainly as a result of the industrial action which lasted three full weeks. On a like-for-like basis the annual number of passenger journeys was up 2.6pc in 2017.

NTA chief executive Anne Graham said the figures were an indication of a "clear demand for safe, efficient and reliable public transport services". She added that additional capacity would be added to the Green Luas line before March, and on Dublin Bus services, along with a 10-minute Dart service. Plans are under way to increase capacity on Bus Éireann.

Irish Independent

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