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Sam Boal
late night luas

Luas could run past 1am as NTA examines extending operational hours, says minister

Increased public transport capacity could help address the taxi shortage in Dublin, the transport minister indicated.

TRANSPORT MINISTER EAMON Ryan has said the National Transport Authority is examining how the Luas could operate past 1am.

Currently the Luas does not operate between 1am and 5am.

The minister said on Twitter today that with plans to introduce more 24-hour bus routes, Transport for Ireland “are taking steps to enable more night time journeys in Dublin to be made using public transport”.

A number of 24-hour bus routes have been launched as part of BusConnects recently.

Confirming that the NTA is looking at extending the operational hours of the Luas, the minister said the process is not immediate, as new bus routes and all-night trams take planning, “and importantly need people to run them”.

He indicated that having additional public transport capacity past midnight would have an impact on the taxi driver shortage also.

“Remember that even if a new 24-hour route doesn’t run to your area, people who take those buses aren’t using taxis so there’s more available for all,” he said.

There are a total of 10,087 taxis currently registered with the NTA within Dublin.

The low number of new taxis come as Dublin faces a taxi shortage, with latest figures from the NTA showing that only 29% of drivers are working during the busy periods of Friday and Saturday nights.

Readers told The Journal of their experiences trying to get home after socialising in the city centre, with some saying that they were forced to wait hours for a taxi, while others opted to walk home.

Last week, it was confirmed that taxi fares are set to increase by 12% on average from 1 September as part of measures to reflect the increasing operating costs for taxi drivers.

Ryan has already moved to reduce public transport fares by 20% with indications from Government that fares could be reduced further in this year’s budget.

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