Friday 15 November 2019

Rail census shows commuter numbers up but DART down

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Passenger journeys on a busy commuter line into Dublin have risen by 20pc year-on-year, with overall numbers across the rail network on the increase.

A rail census conducted by the National Transport Authority (NTA) shows that more than 2,000 extra people travelled on one day alone in Dublin, with most of the increase accounted for by commuter services.

The census, which involved staff at Irish Rail counting the number of passengers boarding and alighting at each of the 147 stations across the network, showed that numbers travelling on the Dublin - Carlow/Athlone/Portlaoise lines increased by 20pc to 11,371 on census day, November 13 last year.

There was also an increase on the Longford-Dublin-Bray line of 5pc, up to 19,079, and on the Dundalk-Gorey line, which rose to 18,780, up 12pc.

But the numbers using DART services in the city fell slightly, down 918 to 55,003.

However, the NTA noted that the census was affected by severe weather with an 8pc reduction in off-peak travel compared with 2013 as people stayed at home.

In addition, services in Cork and on the Dublin-Belfast line were affected, which reduced the numbers travelling.

Overall, some 124,000 trips were made on census day, 83pc of which were within the Greater Dublin Area. This is an increase of 0.8pc.

The census also shows:

  • Some 55,003 trips were taken by DART, a drop of 1.6pc, followed by 41,242 on commuter services, which remained unchanged, and 28,634 on inter city services, up 9pc.
  • The biggest increase was recorded on regional services between Galway-Ballybrophy-Limerick Junction, and Waterford to Limerick Junction which rose 64pc to 1,313.
  • The sharpest fall was on the DART northbound line between Greystones - Howth/Malahide which dropped by 3pc to 27,330.
  • Nine of the 10 busiest stations are in Dublin, with Pearse and Connolly having the highest number of passengers. The only station outside Dublin in the top 10 is Kent in Cork, and all 10 account for 47pc of passenger movements across the network.
  • Some 26 stations had fewer than 100 journeys; 11 had fewer than 30. Conversely, 60 had more than 1,000.
  • For the third year running, the 8am DART from Greystones to Malahide was the busiest in the country, carrying 1,405 passengers.

The NTA said the census only represented a snapshot of travel patterns on one day.

While the number travelling on census day was up by 0.8pc, across 2014 rail users rose 3pc.

The NTA also noted that peak demand at Dublin Heuston now extended from 7am to 9am, compared with just a one-hour slot from 8am to 9am a year earlier.

Irish Independent

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