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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 9 December, 2019

Despite a year of strike threats, we took millions more journeys on public transport

The NTA said the 2016 passenger figures show a “clear demand for a safe, efficient and reliable public transport service”.

Image: Sam Boal/

THE NUMBER OF people using public transport last year rose 4.4% compared with 2015, according to preliminary figures released by the National Transport Authority (NTA).

The NTA said that the growth in passenger numbers was welcome, and that it would bring forward plans later in the year to ease the problem of road congestion in cities.

Overall, 234 million passenger journeys took place across Dublin Bus, Iarnród Eireann, Bus Éireann and Luas services in 2016.

Despite the Dublin Bus strike in August and September, passenger numbers increased by 4.6% to 125.3 million on the service last year.

The only service where passenger numbers were down was on the Luas, which was down slightly on last year, after a strike earlier in the year led to a suspension of service for 12 days.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said the figures were a “welcome sign of general economic activity” and that they were facilitated by the “significant contribution of the ordinary taxpayer” through their use of the services.

There was particularly good news for Irish Rail in the figures, with passenger numbers up almost 8% across its Dart, Commuter and Inter-City routes.

While the threat of industrial action at Bus Éireann remains a possibility, their passenger numbers rose by almost 2 million to 31.9 million passengers last year.

Commenting on the figures, the CEO of the NTA Anne Graham said that they show a “clear demand for a safe, efficient and reliable public transport service”

She added that the NTA would look to build on this success in 2017, and that they would put forward ways to ease the problem of road congestion, particularly in Dublin.

Graham said: “There is real concern about the increasing problem of road congestion which impacts on bus reliability.

NTA believes that there is a need to greatly improve the infrastructure to offer higher priority for buses in Dublin and the regional cities, and in 2017 we will be bringing forward plans to do just that.

Read: Inaccurate ‘real time’ information and food defrosting: Why people get angry at Bus Éireann

Read: National Transport Authority has announced its plans for fare changes on Ireland’s public transport

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Sean Murray

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