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Some passengers being 'left behind' as capacity on public transport reduced to 25%, NTA head says

NTA CEO Anne Graham said today that there are “more people travelling than need to travel” which is putting pressure on capacity.

THE CEO OF the National Transport Authority has said that capacity issues on bus services in Dublin have meant that some customers have been “left behind” during the morning rush hour. 

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Anne Graham said that people should only use public transport for “essential trips” to ease congestion and delays facing people as they try to go to work or school. 

Under Level 5 restrictions, public transport will operate at 25% capacity for the purposes of allowing those providing essential services to get to work.

Compared to the first lockdown however, when public transport capacity was also reduced significantly, schools and the construction sector remain open.

Unions have said that capacity issues created problems for early morning commuters especially over the past two days.

Yesterday evening, NBRU’s Dermot O’Leary told RTÉ’s Drivetime that a lot of buses were leaving their original terminus at capacity, and that it was causing “mayhem” as customers at later stops were unable to board a bus.

This was being seen again today, according to Graham.

She said: “While we still have some capacity issues on some of our buses, both Dublin Bus and GoAhead Ireland put out additional services this morning. So it has improved the situation.

“There are still services that are reaching capacity and unfortunately some customers are being left behind.”

Graham said that only a small number of additional buses can be rolled out, and there is a sense that “there are more people travelling than need to travel”.

“Our message would be if you’re going to use public transport, really do you need to make that trip,” she said. 

She said that it was hoped that additional services could help meet demand this evening, and repeated a call for people to only use public transport services if it’s essential. 

Graham said it’s important that there’s capacity available for essential workers going to work and pupils going to school. 

She added that it was policy to leave windows open on public transport services to improve ventilation. However, in cases where it’s raining heavily, for example, the windows can be closed. 

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