Luas Green Line passenger numbers up by 24%

by Rebecca Ryan
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Luas picture

The Oireachtas Committee heard last Wednesday from transport officials about the traffic congestion in Dublin due to the Luas.

Traffic around College Green has become a significant issue since the Luas Cross City was introduced.

It comes as it was announced that ten more Dublin Bus routes are to be diverted away from the College Green area from March 5.

On Tuesday night, deputies debated a Fianna Fail motion focused on the traffic congestion in the city, with the opposition claiming there was a “lack of forward planning” to allow for longer carriages for Luas trams.

Transport Minister Shane Ross rejected the motion saying the issues are being addressed and that more trams are coming on stream.

“As part of the Luas Cross City project, we have purchased seven additional 55 metre long trams.

“These have a higher passenger capacity than existing trams and thereby significantly increase overall capacity on the Green Line.

“Coupled with increasing capacity, the NTA has also advised me of planned changes to the Luas Green and Red Line timetables to improve the frequency of service particularly in the morning and evening peak periods.

“The motion criticises the lack of investment in extra buses to meet public demands and that has been addressed by the Government in the National Development Plan.”

Minister Ross defended the Luas extension. He said: “It’s been a 24% passenger increase. That is an extraordinary piece of good news.

“If there hadn’t been any increase at all, you’d be in here crying about a white elephant.”

Meanwhile, Green Party Deputy Leader and TD for Dublin Rathdown, Catherine Martin, also called Transdev to explain to the Oireachtas Transport Committee about the “consistent Luas delays in recent months” and to give solutions on “what is needed to restore the reliability of Luas services”.

Delays/Overcrowding Chair of the Oireachtas Transport committee, Fergus O’Dowd TD, confirmed on Monday he will facilitate requests to bring in Luas officials to discuss the many issues affecting passengers using the service.

Deputy Martin said she has been swamped by complaints from Dublin Rathdown commuters who use the Luas.

“I have been inundated with complaints from daily commuters in my constituency who are frustrated with the Luas service in recent times.

“Commuting at peak times is currently a nightmare for Luas passengers due to overcrowding, delays, repeated failures of the Real Time Information displays and debit card machines, not to mention accessibility issues with the lifts at Dundrum and Connolly out of service in recent weeks.

“The lack of communication between the Luas operators and passengers is also unacceptable.

“Yesterday, for example, passengers on the Luas Green Line on their way into the city centre were given no advanced warning in respect of having to disembark at the Luas stop at Cowper.

“The problem at Cowper didn’t occur suddenly and the authorities had adequate time to warn passengers travelling on that line but failed to do so.”

Luas commuters have also been left angered by packed trams who have been taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

One person wrote: “Thanks for your contribution to more grumpy and aggressive people first thing in the morning.”

While another wrote about serious safety concerns: “Luas crowding now beyond dangerous on the trams. Passengers being crushed.

“Platforms are also 4/5 people deep with very few getting on. Further delays at each stop as it’s taking a minimum of three attempts to close doors.”

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