Anger over Luas commuters being ‘turfed out’ of tram

by Rebecca Ryan
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Luas commuters on the green line have reported being “dumped” out before reaching their destination, with no explanation given.

Last Tuesday, commuters on the Brides Glen bound tram were left off at Sandyford, nine stops early, which has reportedly been happening intermittently for the past year and a half.

One irate commuter, Sean, told Dublin Gazette of his recent commuting experience, singling out the Sandyford Luas stop for particular criticism.

He said: “Last Tuesday [October 14], I was trying to get from Dundrum to Central Park after work, so I waited for a third Luas to get there, as the first was just going to Sandyford, and you have to change there for Brides Glen trams.

“The next Luas – bound for Brides Glen – was totally packed, so I waited for the next Luas to come along; that was now the third Luas that I’d had to wait for at Dundrum.

“That third Luas was also for Brides Glen; it was completely packed too, but I squeezed in.

“Without any explanation it ended its journey at Sandyford, leaving everyone to get off and wait – but everyone from the other, earlier Luas had also just been dumped there!

“There were now hundreds of people all turfed out at the Sandyford stop. But what chance did any of them have of getting on the next Brides Glen tram, which would also have been packed [by Sandyford]?

“I only had one stop to go, so I just walked the rest of the way home to Central Park – but the Luas platforms there were also jammed, with noticeably many more people waiting than usual, even for rush hour.”

He added: “I’m really annoyed – this happens again and again and again, with commuters who’ve waited specifically for Brides Glen trams getting turfed out at Sandyford without any warning.

“There’d be murder if Dublin Bus or the DART regularly dumped passengers out at stops, so why do [Luas operators] TransDev think it’s okay to treat commuters going beyond Sandyford like this, especially as lousy Winter weather looms?

“If we’ve waited and hopped on a tram to go somewhere, then just take us there, without dumping us all out somewhere because it’s not convenient for them – but what about us passengers? I don’t think that’s too bloody much to ask!”

Dublin Gazette contacted Transdev who said: “The Green Line timetable is optimised to provide the best service to the maximum number of people at all times – from Broombridge in Cabra to Brides Glen.

“On occasion there may be service disruptions which can have a knock-on effect for the frequency on the entire Line.

“In such incidents, Luas Central Control Staff work to return the service to normal and to minimise the impact on the majority of customers by diverting trams in the city centre and at Sandyford.

“There are occasions when passengers have to alight at Sandyford in order to facilitate the movement of passengers across the whole line and to return the service to normal as quickly as possible.”

Local Councillor Lettie Mc Carthy is calling on the Minister for Transport to “investigate this practice immediately” and to assure passengers that this practice will stop.

“It sounds like Transdev are sending a message to passengers wishing to travel to Bridesglen that their needs are of lesser importance than passengers wishing to travel from the city centre.

“I can only imagine the stress and anxiety it must cause to passengers wondering if they will reach their destination or if they will be asked to alight in Sandyford, several stops away. 

“Our Government really need to take public transport seriously as it is the only way we can encourage people out of their cars.  

“We love the Luas for its predictability but not knowing when you will be asked to vacate the tram removes this predictability and it really is not acceptable.

“I am calling on the Minister of Transport to investigate this practice immediately and assure passengers that this practice will cease.   

“As development progresses in Cherrywood, public transport demands will increase and it is very worrying to learn the Luas system is experiencing difficulties coping with the current demand.”

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said: “We will encourage Transdev to ensure that this will happen as seldom as possible in the future as this is an inconvenience for some passengers.”

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