Thursday 23 November 2017

Car is quickest into city - but at greater cost

Car is quickest into city - but at greater cost
Car is quickest into city - but at greater cost
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

There are probably fewer places in the country better served by public transport than Celbridge in Co Kildare.

Not only do Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann both operate services, there's also a regular train service from the nearby Hazelhatch Station, with a feeder bus taking people to and from the town at peak times.

And so taking the car to work is a no-brainer, especially given the high price of parking in Dublin city centre coupled with congestion at peak times.

Last week, the Irish Independent used all of these transport options during the working week to see which was the cheapest - and quickest. It found there was little between the four, apart from price.

The standard cash or Leap fare was used as a comparator, but there are far better value tickets out there ranging from weekly, monthly or annual Taxsaver tickets.

The slowest mode was Dublin Bus, which took 45 minutes from Main Street Celbridge to O'Connell Bridge. The fare, if paying by cash, is €3.30 each way. That's €33 a week, but using a Leap card reduces the cost to €2.60 a journey, or €26 over the working week.


Train services to Dublin Heuston are fairly regular, but the downside is that unless you take your bike on the train - or use the Dublin Bike stations near the station - you have to connect with the city centre using the Luas.

This journey takes 42 minutes, terminating at Busáras near the offices of the Irish Independent. The 8.30am train arrived into Heuston at 8.51am, there was a seven-minute wait for the connecting Luas, which arrived at 8.58am, and I arrived into Busáras at 9.12am.

It was more expensive - paying by cash, the train is €3.15 and another €1.80 for Luas - a total of €4.95. A return ticket on each comes to €9.40, or €47 a week.

But using Leap means a return ticket on the train is €2.41, plus another €1.44 for Luas - a total of €7.70, or €38.50 a week.

Next up was Bus Éireann, tied for the quickest journey at 39 minutes. It costs €4.10 in cash, or €3.28 using Leap, meaning a weekly bill ranging from €41 to €32.80.

Finally, the car. Despite congestion levels in Dublin rising all the time, on Wednesday morning traffic was relatively light, apart from a section of the N4 crossing the M50. The AA says the journey should take 26 minutes. The 20.5km trip actually took 39 minutes, terminating at O'Connell Bridge.

The fuel cost, according to the AA, was relatively modest. At €3.16, it was more expensive (using Leap) than Dublin Bus, but cheaper than the train/Luas option and Bus Éireann.

But the sticking point was parking. Among the cheapest all-day car parking rate is that at Marlborough Street, at €11 a day. That means the trip in and out of work, assuming there is no free parking, is €17.32 - by far the most expensive transport option.

Irish Independent

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