Public passenger numbers in Republic up 10m in 2016

Irish Rail, Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus all saw rise in business during the year

Dublin Bus carried more than 125 million passengers last year, up almost 5%

Dublin Bus carried more than 125 million passengers last year, up almost 5%

 

More people are increasingly turning to public transport, with passenger numbers in the Republic up 10 million last year, latest figures shows.

Irish Rail, Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus all saw a rise in business during the year, the fourth year in a row overall numbers are up.

There was a slight drop in the numbers travelling on the Luas, but this is being attributed to industrial action by the light-rail drivers and the partial closure of the Red Line in central Dublin for six weeks in the summer.

Anne Graham, chief executive of the National Transport Authority (NTA), said the figures for 2016 showed a clear demand for public transport.

“Additional funding has been provided by the Government this year to subsidise public transport which means we can begin to identify ways of increasing capacity in existing Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann services.

Key issue

The end-of-year figures show Dublin Bus carried more than 125 million passengers last year, up almost 5 per cent; Irish Rail passenger numbers increased by nearly 8 per cent including Dart, Commuter and Inter-City services; Bus Éireann saw customer numbers rise 1.7 million to nearly 32 million; and Luas numbers were down from 34.6 million to 34.1 million.

Overall, State-subsidised public transport passenger numbers were up by more than 4.4 per cent or almost 10 million.

Looking to the year ahead, Ms Graham said roads needed to be upgraded to improve bus services.

“There is real concern about the increasing problem of road congestion which impacts on bus reliability. NTA believes that there is a need to greatly improve the infrastructure to offer higher priority for buses in Dublin and the regional cities, and in 2017 we will be bringing forward plans to do just that.”

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said the passenger figures showed a “welcome sign of general economic activity”.

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