The Ongoing Journey of Go-Ahead Ireland
2 months ago
According to figures released this week by the National Transport Authority (NTA), new Operator Go-Ahead Ireland carried nearly 14m passengers across its 24 Dublin PSO routes in 2019. This represents a 24% increase when compared year on year.
Ed Wills, MD of Go-Ahead Ireland, commented, “We launched our first bus route in September 2018, the 175 from UCD to Citywest, and over the following 5 months mobilised the remaining 23 routes. We are delighted to be contributing - in a such a major way - to Dublin’s transport network and look forward to seeing this trend of increased usage continue.”
A staggering 90 million passenger journeys were provided by transport operators on ‘Transport for Ireland’ Public Service Obligation (PSO) services in 2019. That’s an increase of almost 24m, or 9% compared to 2018.
The figures represent seven straight years of increasing passenger numbers, with the percentage increase in 2019 by far the largest since the inception of the National Transport Authority. According to the Authority, the figures indicate a positive response from members of the travelling public to investment in public transport in recent years.
Passenger numbers on bus services in the Dublin metropolitan area increased by 7.5% in 2019. PSO services in the Dublin area are provided by Go-Ahead Ireland and Dublin Bus, and combined numbers across both companies have gone from 141m in 2018 to 151m last year.
New timetables along with improved frequencies across the entire bus network enabled operators, including Go-Ahead Ireland, to build passenger numbers on their services in 2019. Go-Ahead Ireland not only took over 23 existing routes but also rolled out a number of brand new routes including the 175, that connects CityWest to UCD, the newly-extended routes such as 33A linking Skerries, Swords and Dublin Airport and the recently launched 197 which runs from Ashbourne to Swords.
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said:
“2019 was another year of strong growth for public transport in Ireland. The figures are a testament to the range and quality of services provided by our public transport operators.
There is no doubt that when there is a reliable, high quality, value-for-money public transport offering that customers will respond positively to it.
But people are also looking to the future of the planet, and they know that by choosing to use public transport, they are behaving in a way that will reduce emissions, improve air quality and protect their local environment.
None of us can rest on our laurels, and the priority now must be to deliver on those improvements in our public transport infrastructure that are provided for under the Climate Action Plan and Project Ireland 2040.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, welcomes the publication by the NTA of public transport passenger numbers stating, “These increased passenger numbers have been supported by the significant investments we are now making in expanding our public transport infrastructure. Last year we expanded PSO bus fleets and welcomed the first of the 26 extensions to Luas Green Line trams into service, while Government also approved the purchase of 41 additional rail carriages for the commuter rail fleet.
In 2020 we’ll continue to expand the size of the PSO bus fleet, extend existing trams Luas Green Line and also expand the Green Line fleet by 8 additional trams, while construction will commence on a new National Train Control Centre as well as an increased programme of maintenance and renewal work across the rail network leading to an improved passenger experience.”