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off the rails

Luas strike: Another stressful day for commuters, as Hailo demand surges

Regular Luas commuters are taking to buses, taxis, bicycles and cars to make it to work

TODAY MARKS THE second day of Luas strikes in Dublin, as tram-workers and company bosses continue to face each other down in a conflict over pay.

Yesterday’s action saw a big surge in people getting to work by other modes of transport – with significantly heavier traffic on Dublin commuter routes, as well as an increase in people getting buses, taxis and cycling. 

Today, most likely, will be no different – with widespread disruption expected for the tens of thousands of commuters who generally use the service every day.

Luas workers are looking for pay increases of between 8.5% and 53.8%.

The company that operates the Luas, Transdev, has said that it will not meet these demands but will offer a claim of between 1% and 3%, to include discussion on productivity.

Siptu members at Luas are seeking pay parity with Irish Rail workers, who earn more on average than they do.

While the workers said that they were aware of the inconvenience the disruptions would cause, they contended that they had no choice but to conduct the industrial action.

A spokesperson for Transdev this morning called for “sensible” and realistic discussions with Siptu.

Yesterday’s news

Yesterday morning saw the tens of thousands of people who normally get the Luas to work arrive by other forms of transport.

Not surprisingly, taxi-service Hailo reported a huge swell in business around the Dublin area.

“Demand is crazy out there this morning, rest assured Team Hailo are working hard to get you through the #LuasStrike,” the company said on its Twitter page.

There were also reports of significant traffic congestion around the Dublin area, with AA Roadwatch reporting much higher levels of traffic than normal.

There were even pictures floating around of an increase in cyclists making their way into Dublin city centre.

What can you expect from today?

There’s no indication that today will be any different from yesterday, with widespread traffic congestion on all usual commuter routes, as well as busier buses, trains and a high demand for taxis.

But there are ways to minimise delays. Dublin City FM’s LiveDrive issued five survival tips for commuters:

  1. For shorter journeys – try walking.
  2. Cycle where possible.
  3. If travelling by public transport, know which alternative is best for you.
  4. Plan your route in advance, and leave extra time to anticipate delays.
  5. Check the traffic before you leave.

For anyone who has to get a bus or drive, leaving the house early will be essential. Keep an eye on the AA Roadwatch Twitter account for the latest in traffic updates.

Much the same as yesterday, is providing up-to-date real time travel information for anyone who needs an alternative route to work.

Also, be sure to note:

  • Buses, Darts and train services will all run as normal, but will almost certainly be busier – so plan accordingly (you may need extra time in the morning to avoid traffic/ overcrowding).
  • Luas tickets will NOT be valid on other forms of transport.
  • Luas will NOT be providing an alternative transport service, so there will be no extra bus services in place to transport people from Luas stations.

Normal service will return on Saturday morning, but there are two further days of action planned for next week – with neither the workers nor Transdev looking like resolving the dispute right now.

Read: Luas workers on strike: here’s what you need to know to get around

Read: Luas drivers say they’re definitely going on strike next month

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