Passenger numbers on public transport rise in 2015

New report says more people used services despite industrial action and fare increases

 Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe, with David Franks, chief executive of Iarnród Éireann, and Anne Graham, chief executive of the NTA, at  the Phoenix Park Tunnel in Dublin. File  photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe, with David Franks, chief executive of Iarnród Éireann, and Anne Graham, chief executive of the NTA, at the Phoenix Park Tunnel in Dublin. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

The number of trips taken on State subsidised public transport services increased by eight million last year to 224 million, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has said.

Preliminary figures for 2015 show increases in passenger journey numbers on Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus and Luas services. However, the rate of growth in the numbers (3.6 per cent) was slower than in the previous year (3.8 per cent).

The growth came in what was a difficult year for operators, who faced bus and rail strikes, fare increases and travel disruption in Dublin as a result of ongoing Luas works in the city centre.

Iarnród Éireann recorded the largest year-on-year passenger increase at 6.1 per cent, followed by Luas with 5.3 per cent. Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann registered year-on-year increases of 2.8 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.

The NTA’s public transport report shows Iarnród Éireann grew its customer base at a greater rate than Luas for the first time in five years. It carried 39.8 million passengers in 2015 with Luas services used some 34.6 million times.

Iarnród Éireann was the only operator to grow its passenger numbers at a greater level in 2015 than in 2014, when it registered a year-on-year increase of 3 per cent.

The figures also indicate that Dublin Bus is on course to pass the 120 million mark for annual passenger numbers this year.

Bus strikes

Drivers of Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus engaged in a two-day strike last May, but further industrial action was prevented by last-minute talks.

Train drivers conducted a work stoppage for a number of hours in October but another round of strikes was averted.

The NTA’s “streamlining” of fares, which was announced last October, also resulted in increases in the prices of many bus, rail and Luas tickets, with small decreases to some price bands, the report says.

Other notable developments in 2015 included the rolling out of the Leap Card to commuters in Limerick.

NTA chief executive Anne Graham said service improvements brought about by the Leap Card and real-time passenger information continued to drive growth last year.

She also said that the authority will continue to pursue a privatisation agenda for some bus routes, an issue which sparked strikes last year.

“We will be progressing our open-market tendering for 10 per cent of the Dublin and national bus routes, opening the Phoenix Park tunnel to passenger trains to bring new routes to people travelling into Dublin from Kildare.

“We will be closely examining and improving bus and rail services, and bringing new bus fleet vehicles, in Dublin and throughout Ireland, ” she said.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.