Record level of Luas travellers this year
Passenger numbers on Dublin’s Luas light rail have reached record levels this year, according to the Rail Procurement Agency (RPA).
The numbers of people travelling on the tram have risen by about 300,000 compared with last year.
It is expected that 29.4 million passenger journeys will be made on the Luas in 2012, compared to just over 29 million in 2011.
These numbers were achieved despite losing a week’s service due to a major fire adjacent to the Red Line early in the year.
The busiest times of 2012 were during the Tall Ships festival in August, and during the Christmas season when there was an increase in shoppers and revellers frequenting the city centre.
RPA chief executive Rory O’Connor said the numbers were “heartening” in light of the “extremely challenging” year it had been for all sectors of the Irish economy.
“We have taken steps to reduce costs on the one hand and to increase passenger numbers on the other. We are delighted with the increase in passenger numbers, which certainly bucks the trend.”
In August, An Bord Pleanála granted a railway order for the 5.6km extension to the Luas Green Line between St Stephen’s Green and Broombridge. The RPA estimates the extension will bring an additional 10 million passengers.
Work is due to commence on the extension next year and the estimated time for completion is 2017.