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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 19 April, 2018
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Transport bosses say last week's Luas chaos was due to fewer trams running

There has been calls for buses to be introduced to help alleviate overcrowding on the tram sevice.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT Authority (NTA) says overcrowding should not be an issue on the Luas Green Line this week as four trams have come back online following a scheduled maintenance backlog.

Overcrowding plagued users of the tram service last week with commuters reporting long delays and jam-packed carriages.

NTA spokesman Dermot O’Gara told TheJournal.ie that 29 trams are needed to operate the Green Line without overcrowding for passengers. Due to a backlog in scheduled maintenance only 25 trams were operating on the Green Line last week.

“We are happy that capacity issues are resolved because we are back up to 29 trams after working through a backlog of scheduled maintenance,” O’Gara explained.

The scheduled maintenance issue was caused by depot renovations which made it impossible to complete all the required upkeep. The problem was also exacerbated by heavy snow earlier this month.

“Crisis level”

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The persistent problem prompted calls for buses to be used to supplement trams during rush hour. Green Party deputy leader Catherine Martin said buses should be provided for commuters where trams are consistently delayed or too full.

“I am calling 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,” Martin said.

The NTA said it is not currently considering introducing buses but it keeps the situation “under constant review”.

Longer trams

The overcrowding issues came following the withdrawal of the two longer trams from the cross-city route last week due to an electrical fault.

The longer carriages were introduced last month in an effort to alleviate overcrowding, which has dogged the tram service since the opening of the Luas cross city late last year.

The trams proved controversial as many blamed them for an increase in traffic congestion in Dublin city centre.

The NTA said the two trams should return to service in the coming days when the electrical issue has been resolved.

Five additional longer trams have been commissioned and will enter service in the coming months.

READ: ‘It doesn’t feel safe’: There’s been an increase in complaints about Luas overcrowding>

READ: ‘Patience is at breaking point’ – longer Luas trams withdrawn from service due to system fault>

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Ceimin Burke

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