Car commuting continues to decline

The number of people travelling into Dublin’s city centre using bus, train or Luas in the morning peak has reached record levels, according to figures being published today by Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority.

The figures are included in the Canal Cordon Report, 2018 on mode share of people coming into the city centre in the morning. The field work for the report was conducted over a number of days in November of last year.

The number of cars has fallen for the tenth successive year with 48,820 vehicles coming into the city carrying 60,537 people. This compares to 2008 when 59,000 vehicles carried 67,700 people into the city centre. The car now accounts for just 28% of journeys compared to a 2010 peak of 39.8%.

The numbers on public transport on the other hand, continue to increase. 112,512 people came into the city on bus, train or Luas in 2018 compared to 107,160 in 2017 and just 83,000 in 2010. All three modes grew in 2018 compared to the previous year. Luas posted an increase of nearly 2,000 morning peak passengers from 11,953 to 13,835, a jump of 15%. (This is the first year that the Cross City segment of the Green Line has been operational for this survey).

This means that more than half of all commuters – 52.6% to be precise – are using public transport compared to 45.9% in 2010.

Cycling and walking numbers remain strong. 12,227 people cycled into the city centre – the second highest number ever – although down very slightly from last year. Walkers accounted for 23,858 a slight drop from last year’s record high. Mode share for cycling is at 5.7%, with walking at 11.2%.

Of the 213,920 people recorded coming into the city centre, 150,753 – or 70% – used sustainable modes such as public transport, cycling and walking.

That’s up from 106,415, or 59%, in 2010.

Anne Graham, NTA Chief Executive Officer said: “The growing gap between the numbers using public transport and the private car means that things are moving in the right direction. We want to incentivise more people to leave their cars at home by continuing to improve public transport.

“Just last month the Report on the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action stated that strategies to provide integrated, reliable and affordable public transport, were of critical importance in tackling climate change. The report highlighted the need for investment in public transport in the years ahead and supported further development of infrastructure for cycling and other sustainable modes.

“The NTA is very much on the same page, and our work plan, which is underpinned by ‘Ireland 2040’ and the ‘Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 – 2035’ is already making progress.

“This year we are investing in fleet for our bus operators and under BusConnects, we are planning to increase bus priority on about 200km of main corridors into the city. We are also redesigning the bus network to make it more useful to more people.

“For rail, the process of acquiring additional fleet for commuter services is already under way. On Luas we are extending the existing 26 trams to 55 metres and adding 8 new 55 metre trams to the Green Line fleet.

“Just last week, with Dublin City Council, we announced plans for the Liffey Cycle route but we acknowledge more is needed. That is why further cycling infrastructure will be delivered under our BusConnects core bus corridor plans.

“The figures published today are very encouraging and are a tribute to all of the operators providing transport into the city who have managed not just to retain passengers but to actually grow their customer base. I have every confidence that we can all continue to build on this success.”