Photo: Jonathan Petersson

Record number using public transport for Dublin commute

April 15th, 2019

A record number of people are using various modes of public transport including buses, the Luas and train to reach Dublin city centre, a new report has revealed.

According to the recent figures published by the National Transport Authority (NTA), car travel now accounts for only 28 per cent of journeys into central Dublin which reveals a significant decline compared to almost 40 per cent figure for 2010.

All modes of public commute – Luas, train and bus – grew in popularity in 2018 with Luas use experiencing a 15 per cent hike carrying 13,835 commuters to Dublin city centre during the peak morning traffic hours.

The new figures translate to more than half of all commuters using public transport in 2018 compared to the 45.9 per cent in 2010.

The number of strollers to the city, however, has experienced a slight decrease with 23,858 walkers recorded for 2018.

Data has also revealed that 213,920 commuters to central Dublin have either used sustainable modes of public transport or cycled and walked to the city, a significant increase from the 106,415 figure for 2010.

NTA’s Chief Executive Anne Graham said that she was satisfied with the latest figures, adding that “the growing gap” between private car and public transport use signals a move into “ the right direction”.

“We want to incentivise more people to leave their cars at home by continuing to improve public transport,” she said.  Ms Graham continued that promoting public transport use is an essential part of combating climate change.

Row of Bikes Photo: Pixabay

“Just last month the Report on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action stated that strategies to provide integrated, reliable and affordable public transport, were of critical importance in tackling climate change,” she said.

“The report highlighted the need for investment in public transport in the years ahead and supported further development of infrastructure for cycling and other sustainable modes.”

Welcoming the new report, Green Party’s local councillor Ciarán Cuffe said that while the figures are satisfactory, lack of adequate promotion for cycling and walking is still an issue.

“It is good to see for the first time in many years more people are coming to town by bus than by car, however the reduction in pedestrian and cycling numbers is a cause for concern,” he said.

Cllr Cuffe called on the Transport Minister Shane Ross TD to boost investment in pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. “If you build it they will come,” he said.

He added that parking discrimination in Dublin city centre is also an issue that needs to be addressed. “We also need to reconsider free parking for civil servants in the city centre, it is unacceptable that we give free parking as a perk to many permanent and pensionable employees.”

Cllr Cuffe today officially launched his candidacy for the Dublin seat in next month’s European Parliament elections in the Dublin Woollen Mills cafe today, vowing to make action on climate change his key priority.

“Dublin need a green voice in Europe so that climate change, housing and traffic congestion receive the attention they deserve,” he said.

“A Greener European Parliament…. could approve a transport package that spends more on active travel than it does on motorways.  It could clean up the water quality in our rivers and canals, so that Dublin Bay is clean and sparking rather than contaminated with sewage,” he added.

About the Author

Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.

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