Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.22 16 Jul 2021


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Public transport passengers are being asked to be patient and plan their journey as capacity is set to increase to 75%.

From Monday, the 75% capacity will apply to bus, DART, commuter rail and Luas services.

This means that a bus that pre-COVID could carry 80 people seated and standing, and which has been carrying 40 this week, will now be able to accommodate 60.

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From Monday there will be 20 more people allowed on that bus, and some seats that have been blocked off will be opened up to customers.

There may also be a few more people standing.

The move to 75% will see more seats opened up on inter-city journeys on rail and coach services.

Anne Graham is CEO of the National Transport Authority (NTA).

She told The Hard Shoulder any further easing of restrictions on services will be dependent on the public health situation.

"I think the Government, a few weeks ago, did indicate that they may release all restrictions on public transport at the beginning of August.

"But they would obviously take the public health advice and see what's happening, with the Delta variant in particular, to see whether it's appropriate to remove restrictions at that time".

She says while things will get busier from Monday, people should be patient.

"On Monday we're actually going to be increasing the capacity from 50% up to 75% - that's on all our buses trams and trains.

"But for this weekend, while it is good weather and we expect people to want to go to the beaches and the different hotspots around the country, unfortunately we still will have capacity of 50% to bring people to those lovely locations".

But she says there are times, specifically at weekends, when it is hard to keep to 50% capacity.

"It generally tends to be at weekends - so it's people doing leisure travel really and getting out and about as restrictions are being eased.

"That can cause some problems at times, and people may have to wait a little bit longer particularly while they're returning.

"While they might have got out to their destination with relative ease, people tend to want to travel back at the same time.

"And unfortunately we've limited capacity to be able to travel, so I think people just need to be patient and leave some time for their outward journey but also for their journey coming home".

She says the 75% capacity refers to seated and standing - so some seats will still be blocked off.

"On our inter-city trains, it'll be one in four seats blocked off".

There remains a requirement to wear masks on all public transport services, and people are being reminded to use hand sanitizer before and after they board.

But people will still have to pre-book rail tickets because "the demand is still relatively high".

Main image: Composite image shows a Dublin Bus on College Green in Dublin city, and commuters on the Luas in Dublin. Picture by:Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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Anne Graham Bus Capacity Commuter Rail Covid Dart Luas NTA National Transport Authority Public Transport Public Transport Capacity The Hard Shoulder

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