Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.19 7 May 2021


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The National Transport Authority (NTA) is preparing for an uptake in off-peak travel, as more people opt to work from home.

All operators are now providing a full timetable and from Monday May 10th, sitting and standing capacity on public transport is to increase to 50%.

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, told The Hard Shoulder they are ready for more changes.

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"The peak time that we would normally have on public transport is usually the morning peak and the evening peak, and we design our services around those peaks to make sure that we have good capacity at those times in particular.

"But we do expect that, with the move to a proportion of people working from home, that we may see some of our peak demand eased a bit.

"But that allows us to put some capacity in at off-peak times - because we do see that actually travel will increase off-peak, as people are maybe... working from home or maybe working in hubs close to their home.

"So we do see that while some peak travel may reduce, we do believe there'll be an increase in off-peak travel.

"And we'll be in a position to provide additional services in the off-peak".

On the wider-resumption of capacity, she said: "We're delighted to announce that from Monday May 10th, we're doubling the capacity on our public transport system.

"So we're going to a capacity of 50% on all our vehicles that are operating public transport.

"That's following our move earlier this week to a full timetable of services - so we're being in a position to offer much more capacity for the travelling public as the restrictions ease.

"We found that, particularly with the schools going back, at times we did find that we had some pinch-points and we were getting close to our peak capacity at 25% on occasions.

"But now, we are delighted that we are going to have much more capacity available from Monday."

'Still some restrictions'

She said people are also asked to travel off-peak as the inter-county travel ban is lifted.

"When we're talking about encouraging people to travel at off-peak times - that's not just Monday to Friday - but also at the weekends from Friday and Sunday are generally tend to be busy times for our inter-city travel, both bus and rail.

"So we'd ask people if they can, given that there is still some restriction on capacity, to travel off-peak where they can."

And she admitted that some services were close to their 25% capacity.

"On some services... it's obviously a bit more difficult for operators and their drivers to manage that.

"But I think in general the public have travelled off-peak, and have allowed that available capacity to be available for those that had to make essential journeys".

People are being asked to avoid travelling at peaks and avoid crowded services.

Masks continue to be required on all public transport services - and people should also walk or cycle where possible.

Operators have an enhanced daily cleaning regime on their fleet - which includes the sanitising of frequently touched surfaces on board, and extending cleaning regimes to include inter-peak cleaning at depots and stations.

Passengers are being advised to use the hand sanitiser provided, and use a Leap Card to pay for their journey wherever possible.

Public transport to offer 'additional off-peak services' as people work from home

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Main image: A Luas tram beside a Dublin Bus in Dublin city centre in August 2019. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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Anne Graham Capacity Dublin Bus Luas National Transport Authority Off-peak Services Public Transport Restrictions The Hard Shoulder Working From Home

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