Almost 10 million extra passengers used public transport in 2016

Dublin Bus carried over half of all passengers, while the numbers using the Luas was down slightly

Almost 10 million extra passengers used public transport in 2016

Image: RollingNews.ie

New figures show there were nearly 10 million extra journeys on public transport in 2016 compared to the previous year.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) says 234 million trips were made using subsidised services provided by Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann and Luas - an increase of 4.4% compared to 2015.

Dublin Bus carried over half of all passengers - with 125.3 million passengers last year.

Irish Rail numbers increased by 7.9%, with increases in passenger numbers for DART, Commuter and InterCity services.

The numbers using the Luas were down around 500,000 passengers to 34.1 million, mainly due to industrial action earlier in the year and the closure of parts of the Red Line for six weeks in the summer.

Bus Éireann had 31.9 million passengers for subsidised services, up 1.7 million on 2015.

Anne Graham - CEO of the NTA - suggests the figures show a "clear demand for a safe, efficient and reliable public transport service".

She said: "A properly functioning public transport system is a key issue nationally, when it comes to promoting balanced regional economic development, preventing social isolation, and protecting the environment.

“In 2017, NTA will be looking at ways of building on the success of recent years. We will do that by identifying ways of meeting the demands on public transport that will continue to increase in all regions, well into the future."

A number of significant changes planned for 2017 - including the planned commencement of the Luas Cross City service and increased DART frequency - are likely to see changes in commuter numbers for different services.