Number of passenger journeys on public transport increases by 19 million
Dublin Bus most popular transport option with more than 143 million journeys in 2018
Work on extending current Luas trams to 55m will continue in 2019. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
The number of journeys on Irish public transport services increased by 19 million in 2018, a rise of 7.5 per cent on the previous year, figures from the National Transport Authority show.
Dublin Bus provided the largest number of passenger journeys in 2018 with more than 143 million people travelling on the service, a rise of more than seven million on the previous year and the fifth consecutive year of growth for the company.
Bus Éireann services witnessed the single biggest percentage increase in passenger journeys of any of the Transport for Ireland Public Service Obligation (PSO) operators, jumping 12.9 per cent from 31.1 million journeys in 2017 to 35.1 million in 2018.
The number of passenger journeys on Iarnród Éireann Dart and commuter services rose by nearly 5 per cent last year with the expansion of services through the Phoenix Park tunnel and the introduction of the 10-minute Dart schedule helping numbers to grow.
Intercity services also increased 8.4 per cent to 12.4 million.
The extension of the Luas Green line to Broombridge in December 2017 and the introduction of seven longer trams last year helped increase numbers using the tram service, with almost 42 million journeys throughout the year, marking an increase of 11 per cent, the National Transport Authority (NTA) said.
The Go-Ahead Ireland bus service, which became a member of the PSO operators last autumn, recorded 1.3 million passenger journeys along routes in the Dublin region which include those connecting CityWest to UCD and the newly extended 33A linking Skerries, Swords and Dublin Airport.
NTA chief executive Anne Graham said plans were in place to purchase more buses in the short term and to begin purchasing “low-emission vehicles” from July 2019.
Irish Rail services are also set to increase with a new fleet poised to enter service early in 2021, while work on extending current Luas trams to 55m will continue in 2019, said Ms Graham.
Minister for Transport Shane Ross described the rise in numbers of passenger journeys as “evidence that customers are voting with their feet and using the services more and more, year after year”.
Citing the €8.6 billion earmarked for public transport infrastructure under Project 2040, Mr Ross said the transport investment would “make Ireland a better place to live and make it a more attractive place to visit and to do business”.