My Covid commute: ‘I have decided the Dart is not worth the risk’

Readers on returning to work: ‘I am looking for a job that facilitates working from home’

Capacity on trains and buses are now at 100 per cent after Covid rules were eased. Photograph: iStock

Capacity on trains and buses are now at 100 per cent after Covid rules were eased. Photograph: iStock

 

Share your story: This article also includes a form you can use to tell us if your employer has brought you back to the office this week or asked you to stay at home, and whether you are concerned about Covid-19 in the workplace. Scroll down to see it

I work in the centre of Dublin. Very happy working at home, Hesitant to take public transport. Despite what CIÉ say, masks are not mandatory, and after travelling by Dart a few times I have decided it is not worth the risk. I used to cycle in sometimes, but it is just too dangerous. Drivers, particularly of taxis and buses, see you as an impediment. – Michael Roberts

I hope to work part of the time in the office and part at home. I will be driving, as I’m not comfortable on full-capacity public transport, which, before Covid, was uncomfortably overcrowded (my journey involved Dart, then Luas). The spread of Covid among vaccinated is my only reason for taking my car. – Ciara B, Dublin

I could easily take the Dart and the bus to my place of work, but there is no way I will even consider that until cases are way down. I know too many people who have been vaccinated and still got Covid. Public transport is where people are forced to huddle together – prime ground for the virus to spread. I will be driving to work for foreseeable future when required to be in the office and working from home otherwise. – Tom Cosgrave, Dublin

I am still working from home but will be returning to an office soon. I used to walk to work but will be driving in after Covid, as my circumstances have changed. There is no doubt that traffic has already increased in my area compared to prepandemic norms, so I am dreading the commute. Not only is it terrible for the environment but it’s so awfully stressful for the community and everyone’s mental health to force us all to rush in and out of the city at the same time every day.

I am so disappointed in us as a country that we choose to organise ourselves this way in the first place. Making thousands of people travel into a city at the same time every morning and return home at the same time every evening is utter madness. If we pass up the opportunity to change things and make remote working the norm going forward, then we will really have let ourselves down. I think the most talented workers will be leaving jobs which don’t allow for remote working. As that happens, firms that are stuck in the past, with no remote working, will inevitably collapse, and remote working will have to become the norm. – Conor Quinnlan, Kilmallock

Delighted to be back on the bicycle with some improved infrastructure. Being in the car makes me miserable, and as a teacher I do not feel good about myself when I drive. Cycling relieves me of some of the guilt of contributing to the climate crisis, and although my car is electric I cannot justify the road space it takes for just one person, or the parking space it would occupy – which should be yard space for play. The exercise is making me feel better already too. – Annette Boles, Dublin

Share Your Story

We bought a long-tail ebike last year after Covid hit and the roads became quieter and safer to cycle on. Both our children can sit securely on the back of it, and it reduces our morning commute from 40 minutes to 10. We love the fresh air, and rarely do we actually need our wet gear. I only wish that the roads were safer, that motorists respected cyclists a bit more and that there were segregated cycle lanes throughout the city and suburbs. – Rebecca Flynn

I have worked in the office a few days a week, on my own, for most of the last 18 months, and I cycle to work most days, rain or shine. I get into the office in about 10-15 minutes instead of 45 minutes driving or the same by train/bus. It’s faster, more convenient and better for the environment. I also drive a car at the weekends and have found that a lot of car drivers in the city are inconsiderate/rude and downright dangerous to cyclists.

People need to be more aware, and as this is one of the future of transports in the world – electric relies too heavily on battery power – we really should be pushing cycling, not clinging to the last gasp of petrol power. It’s never too chilly for the bike – there are things called jackets/coats that mitigate the chill. – Ruth Vallenduuk, Dublin

I have a 22km round-trip commute daily, and I started off with a car, which would have a journey time of approx 1 hour 15 mins each way. I quickly dumped the car in favour of a moped, which reduced the commute time to 35 mins (along with massively reducing tax, insurance and fuel costs). I’ve recently invested in an electric bicycle, and my commute time is now roughly 30 mins each way.

Bike lanes are available through 70 per cent of my journey. I still pay insurance for the bike, and obviously my fuel bill has reduced again. My intention is to keep commuting by ebike, though I’m sure on snowy/icy days Dublin Bus may be the only option. The bike has increased my fitness level and allows that daily bit of fresh air. I’d rather be rained on (and change into dry clothes) than sit in traffic. – Dave Fitzsimons, Dublin

I cycle in and out of work. No waiting, no congestion, no costs, no pollution. Same journey time every day because I’m not stuck in traffic. The sections of my route on protected bike lanes are relaxed. Unfortunately, on some of the way I have to look out for drivers updating Facebook with one hand and drinking coffee with the other. – Ray Cunninghan, Dublin

I usually have a 1½-hour commute every day each way. This includes travelling to the train station by car, catching the Dart to the city and then taking the Luas to my workplace. I have mixed emotions regarding return to office (though for just two or three days a week to start with), the main reason being the crowding on public transport, especially the Luas, which is a nightmare.

I have also replaced my commute time with something for myself in the morning, and that has kept me sane during the last 18 months. I also get a lot more time to spend with my young boys, and even collecting them from school is possible now because of Covid. – Aswini Rajasekaran

As I live and work in Dublin, I have always cycled to work. Rain or shine, even during snow, I get on my bike and head to work. That’s varied from 5km to 12km each way. I’m lucky, in that nearly all my employers have provided secure parking and generous changing facilities. Once work from home started, the change in my routine was noticeable. I was more tired, I put on weight and I became more accustomed to the couch instead of exercise.

I am really looking forward to getting back to the commute. Ignore all the stories about commuting in Dublin. The weather is rarely an issue, especially given the clothing and bike options available to commuters now. What’s really hard to believe is how many people still commute to the city by car, then complain about traffic. – Michael Hanley, Dublin

I started taking the train again three weeks ago. It is very pleasant at the moment, because the trains I take are not very busy, compared with being completely oversubscribed prior to Covid. – Marissa O’Keeffe

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