Luas celebrates 30 million passengers
LUAS has exceed the 30 million passenger mark for the first time in ten years.
It will celebrate a decade in existence next year.
And it also proved to be a lucky day for trainee nurse Rachel Williams (19), from Roscrea, Co Tipperary.
Rachel was travelling on the Red Line near Heuston this morning when she was named as the company’s 30 millionth passenger – and given an annual travel pass for her trouble.
"I was thrilled, I didn't really know what was going on but it's all exciting," Rachel told Independent.ie
The Luas celebrates its tenth birthday next year, and this is the first time that it has exceeded the 30 million passenger mark in a calendar year.
In its first full year of operation in 2005 it attracted 21 million passengers but the figures have been grown steadily ever since apart from a drop in numbers in 2008 and 2009 when the economy stalled.
Extensions to the service to Saggart, the Point depot and beyond Carrickmines that opened in 2010 and 2011 increased passenger numbers.
"Luas has been a success story from the start and has been taken to heart by passengers ," said Minister Varadker.
"Dublin is clearly suited to light rail, and next year the construction of the Luas Cross City link between the two ones will commence, which will mean even more passengers," he added.
"It's a landmark day for Luas, and when you think of the number of individual journeys it is an enormous achievement, and when you think about it that's more people than use all the airports in the country combined," he explained.
Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly said the success of the Luas shows that Irish people will use public transport when presented with a quality service.
"It's a fabulous service. I came here this morning on the Luas. The fact that it has reached the 30 million passenger mark in a year shows that our economy is improving and that we are creating a better user-experience for more people," he added.
Welcoming the increase in passenger numbers Railway Procurement Agency acting chief-executive Rory O'Connor said it was encouraging to see Luas doing so well.
"We hope that when the cross city service opens we will be increasing our passenger numbers to 40m by 2017," he told Independent.ie