NTA records over 308 million journeys in Ireland in 2023

Posted: 17 January 2024 | | No comments yet

Ireland’s public transport hits a historic high in 2023, recording a 24% increase in passenger journeys from the previous year, driven by significant growth in Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and rural TFI Local Link services.

NTA records over 308 million journeys in Ireland in 2023

Credit: National Transport Authority

Ireland’s public transport network has achieved a historic milestone in 2023, recording over 308 million passenger journeys, the highest ever in a single year, according to preliminary figures released by the National Transport Authority (NTA).

The remarkable feat marks a 24% increase in passenger numbers compared to the previous year and surpasses the previous record set in 2019 by 5%. Key contributors to this success include Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Luas, Iarnród Éireann, Go-Ahead Ireland and TFI Local Link.

Dublin Bus played a significant role in the surge, carrying over 145 million passengers, a notable 20% increase from 2022. The company reported that it has served more than 44 million passengers, showcasing substantial growth compared to the previous year.

In addition to urban services, rural connectivity experienced a substantial boost with TFI Local Link witnessing a remarkable 78% increase, carrying 3.2 million passengers in 2023. The annual patronage on TFI Local Link services has seen a seven-fold increase since 2018.

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The success extended to Kerry, where the introduction of new TFI Local Link services on the Ring of Kerry, such as the 280 and 281 bus services, proved popular, with over 6,800 people using these services in December 2023. The enhancements also led to a 250% increase in patronage on the 270 Bus Éireann service.

The BusConnects Network Redesign in Dublin, particularly Phase 5b in South Dublin, has seen a 6% increase in passenger numbers within weeks of its launch. Two new town bus services in Carlow Town and Clonmel also experienced significant uptake, with 35,000 people now using the Carlow Town bus service every four weeks since its summer launch, and 14,000 people utilising the Clonmel service in its first month of operation in December 2023.

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA said: “The NTA has continued to plan, implement and invest in our public transport network and we are seeing the results of that around the country.  Last year [2023] we implemented over 60 new and enhanced bus services, connecting towns and villages across Ireland giving our people the option to take public transport to work, school, and college or to leisure appointments. The passenger numbers speak for themselves.”