Call for alternative transport to Luas during rush hour
Withdrawal of longer trams has added to difficulties for commuters on Green Line
The NTA has said the Green Line is operating at capacity at peak times, with crowding on trams between Ballaly and Ranelagh
The Government has been urged to sanction immediate alternative transport for Luas commuters who cannot board trams along the Green Line during rush hour.
Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin said the withdrawal of longer trams from service last week due to technical issues had compounded the major difficulties faced by commuters on the Green Line since the new cross-city service was launched in December.
Ms Martin called on the National Transport Authority to provide buses to accommodate passengers unable to board trains at Luas stations which face “crisis situations” at rush hour.
The NTA has already said the Green Line is operating at capacity at peak times, with crowding on trams between Ballaly and Ranelagh.
An extra eight trams, 12m longer than the regular trams, were ordered to meet the extra capacity, but the first of these trams have now been withdrawn because of battery problems.
The new trams were to have capacity for an additional 1,760 passengers per direction per hour. However, without the trams and with a 24 per cent increase in passenger numbers on the Green Line, Minister for Transport Shane Ross said in the Dáil last month the Luas had become “a temporary victim of its own success”.
“The situation for commuters is going from bad to worse. The latest announcement will aggravate and compound commuters’ frustration, anger and safety concerns. I have been inundated with complaints received from constituents who are exasperated with the current quality and reliability of the Luas service,” said Ms Martin, a TD for Dublin Rathdown.
“At this stage there are also grave safety concerns for commuters both on the platforms and on crammed trams. Accessibility for wheelchair users and parents with buggies is next to impossible.
“The Minister for Transport has referred to these issues as teething problems, but it is now over three months since the cross-city Luas was launched, and these problems are getting worse day by day.”
She called on the NTA to commission a contract to provide temporary alternative transport for commuters at the Luas stations that they identify as being at crisis level.
“Buses should be provided for commuters where trams are consistently delayed or too full until the problems in respect of this service, once celebrated for its reliability and quality, are resolved.”