A number of commuters have described how they don't feel safe getting the train alone at night due to anti-social behaviour.
They've described seeing fights, windows smashed and catcalling on trains or at some of Dublin's busiest train stations, while some have even been assaulted themselves.
It comes as rail staff consider taking industrial action over the level of “anti-social behaviour and downright thuggery".
The NBRU says staff have reached the "end of their tethers" after years of dealing with the issue, with workers having to deal with everything from open drug use by passengers to threats of sexual violence.
Between June 2020 and June of this year, there were reports of 2,300 anti-social incidents.
Of those, 369 were classed as “aggressive” - including 70 assaults on staff and customers.
Meanwhile, research by Transport Infrastructure Ireland found that six in 10 women have said they don't feel safe taking the bus or train - with safety at night a particular concern.
For The Pat Kenny Show, Newstalk reporter Barry Whyte spoke to commuters about their experiences.
Luis, originally from Mexico and living in Dublin for several years, was recently the victim of unprovoked attack at Heuston Station.
He said: “It was around 10 pm. I was listening to my music and scrolling on my phone. A guy beside me was staring at me… I knew they were just looking for trouble.
“The guy asked ‘why are you looking me?’ I just said ‘you’re actually looking at me constantly. I don’t want any problem… just leave me alone’. Then this guy replied back saying ‘I will stab you to death outside’".
A number of other young people then started following Luis, targeting him with racist abuse.
Eventually, they pulled him by the back and started punching him when he was on the ground.
He said: "I have little scratches, and feel like my neck’s sore at the moment. It was awful, honestly.
"I haven’t been on public transport since then… I’ve totally avoided going into town at night as well, as I don’t feel as confident as before.”
Lack of transport police
One woman, who works as a nurse, told Barry she would never go to Connolly Station by herself at night.
She said: "There’s always something going on: I was on the train the other week and someone smashed a window on it.
“I’m going to work now, but I wouldn’t get the train home… because I don’t finish until ten PM.”
She said she has also seen fights break out, while it can be "horrible" leaving the station at night due to groups of people hanging around.
Concerns over anti-social behaviour have led to repeated calls from the NBRU and others for a dedicated transport police - and Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell believes that is what's now needed.
He said: “I think it’s incumbent on the Commissioner to recognise that Irish Rail can’t do this on their own - it’s a societal issue.
"Recruitment and investment in An Garda Síochana has been significantly increased in recent years… we’re now looking at close to 15,000 gardaí. So I’m very confident the Commissioner has the resources at his fingertips."
He suggested security guards are "no substitute" for the presence of gardaí.
Last week, the head of the NTA said she does not believe a dedicated transport police force would be appropriate for Irish Rail.
She said there are already "very strong links" with gardaí, so they can respond quickly to any incidents that do occur.