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Numbers taking buses and trains to work down since 2006

New Census figures show that the numbers in cars and on bikes is up, but mass transit options are less popular than before.

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE NUMBER of people living in Ireland who take buses or trains to work has fallen since 2006, new figures show.

A detailed breakdown of commuting methods, published this morning by the Central Statistics Office, shows that the overall number of people taking mass public transport to work as of Census Day in April 2011 was down when compared to 2006.

The numbers taking buses (or minibuses or coaches) to work have fallen by a greater amount than the total number of people actually in work.

91,676 people said they took buses to work, accounting for about 5.15 per cent of the population, down from 6.07 per cent (or 114,956) who took buses in 2006.

The numbers on rail services fell from 54,942 in 2006 to 52,749 in 2011, though the relative proportion of the total workforce taking trains or trams was up from 2.9 per cent to 2.97 per cent.

The total numbers driving themselves to work fell by only 13,000, but proportionate to the working population as a whole grew by 2.94 per cent of the total workforce.

The number of cyclists increased from 36,306 (1.92 per cent) to 39,308 (2.24 per cent), and was the only category to record an increase in ‘raw’ numbers.

Contrary to previous expectations, the numbers of people who work from home fell between 2006 and 2011 – from 105,706 (5.58 per cent of the working population) to 83,326 (4.69 per cent).

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Other figures released today showed the number of working people who owned their homes, or had mortgages on homes, and who lived in rented or other accommodation.

The number of people living on houses they owned outright was 412,012 (24.3 per cent), while a further 816,168 (48.1 per cent) of people lived in homes which were under a mortgage or another similar loan.

428,040 (25.25 per cent) lived in rented accommodation, of whom all but 3.93 per cent were paying rental fees to private landlords, local authorities or a voluntary housing body.

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More: Full coverage of Census 2011

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Gavan Reilly

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