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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C File photo.
Public Transport

Public transport use approaches pre-pandemic levels

It comes following a 20% cut in the cost of public transport fares.

PEOPLE’S TRAVEL PATTERNS are nearly returning to pre-pandemic levels with new stats showing that public transport use has climbed to its highest rate since March 2020.

The latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that public transport journeys jumped by 68% during the second week of May this year compared to the same week of 2021.

The stats show that the number of bus journeys in Dublin were 84% of the levels recorded in early March 2020 while outside the capital the figure has climbed to 89%. Rail journeys have reached 78% of pre-Covid levels. 

In Dublin, the number of Luas passenger journeys jumped by 8% week-on-week, the highest weekly rise since Covid restrictions were eased in January.

However, the number of Luas journeys remains 18% lower than the same week in 2019.

Fares on public transport services were reduced by 20% across the country between April and May.

Car traffic also hit its highest level this year at the end of May, however it remains 4% lower than what was recorded before the pandemic in May 2019.

The CSO found that the monthly peak volume of bicycles in Dublin has increased by 70% compared with May last year.

HGV traffic is busier than before the pandemic, with the data showing a 6.5% increase on the same period in 2019.

The stats also confirm that there were 13 fatalities on Irish roads in May, the highest for the month of May since 2016.

On the international travel front, Dublin Airport passenger numbers have also climbed to 87% of May 2019 data.

“Passenger numbers for Dublin airport have still not returned to pre-Covid-19 levels, with 2.6 million passengers in May 2022, below the 3.0 million in May 2019,” said Nele van der Wielen, Statistician in the Transport Division of the CSO.

The stats show that the number of people who filed through Dublin airport last month was more than 17 times higher than in May 2021.

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