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More than 30 million used Luas last year

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A Luas tram

A Luas tram

A Luas tram

PASSENGER numbers on the Luas reached 600,000 per week in 2013, as the figure for the year exceeded 30m, figures revealed

The light rail system also carried 1.2 million more passengers than during the previous year – a 4pc increase.

Numbers dropped in 2008 and 2009 because of the effects of the recession. But since then they have been on the rise, helped by the opening of three extensions in 2008 and 2009, in addition to several high-profile marketing campaigns.

The Rail Procurement Agency (RPA), which manages the system on behalf of the National Transport Authority (NTA), claimed that its 'Kids go free' scheme had helped matters, as had reduced rates for park-and-ride passengers.

RPA chief executive Rory O'Connor said that it was "hugely encouraging" to see the Luas doing so well, and praised the effort put into customer service by the staff of the operator, Transdev.

He added that the common factor in the most successful city transport systems was that they were integrated.

The NTA's Leap Card, which allows commuters to move between Dublin Bus, Luas, Dart and Irish Rail services with a pre-paid card, was introduced in December 2012. Over the past 12 months the number of commuters using the card has doubled.

Gerry Murphy, chief executive of the NTA, paid tribute to the train system. "Luas is a key part of the city's integrated public transport network," he said.

 

EXTENSION

"With a focus on customer requirements, the authority has been rolling out a sustained programme of new initiatives, including the Leap Card, real-time passenger information, journey-planning apps and new bus fleets."

In August 2012, An Bord Pleanala granted permission for a Luas extension, which will run from St Stephen's Green to Cabra, as well as connecting the existing Red and Green lines.

hnews@herald.ie


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