It is hoped that overcrowding conditions on the Luas Green Line will ease, after it was announced that trams are being extended.
The first of the newly-extended trams were put into service on Monday. The 11.1m extension increases the length of the tram from 44m to 55m and increases passenger capacity by 30%.
The first of these extended trams is now in passenger service on the Green Line, and 25 more will enter into service over the next 14 months.
Transport Minister, Shane Ross said he is “delighted” to see the first of 26 extended Luas trams released.
“The government is committed to improving public transport service as this investment shows. I look forward to the better service Luas will be able to provide to Green Line customers over the coming months as more of the trams are extended,” he added.
In addition to these extended trams, eight brand-new 55m trams are expected to be delivered in 2020.
The extended trams will increase passenger capacity from 319 to 408, and hopes to ease the pressure on the green line service.
The news comes as overcrowding issues were highlighted again recently. One commuter tweeted that it took him 45 minutes before he could get on a Luas at Windy Arbour because of trams being overcrowded.
The tweet read: “Fair play Luas, you really know how to start Monday mornings, 45 minutes before you could get on a tram this morning.
“Maybe you should let my goldfish take over your operations team – have a feeling it would be an improvement.”
Kevin Carter, Acting Chairperson of Dublin Commuter Coalition – a volunteer group which advocates for commuters – told Dublin Gazette that he believes the overcrowding issues are a result of drivers blocking yellow boxes and bus lane in the city centre.
“Drivers flouting road traffic laws in the city centre, by blocking yellow boxes and ignoring the College Green bus gate can lead to delays that ripple throughout the network.
“A delay of just ten minutes can cause overcrowding on the Green Line as far south as Balally.
“The Green Line is operating close to capacity already and any delay in service can multiply within minutes.”
Mr Carter said he would like to see more “better enforcement of the laws” in keeping yellow boxes and bus lanes free.
The number of journeys on Luas has increased from 30.5 million in 2013 to 41.8 million in 2018 and demand continues to increase.