State-owned transport body Dublin Bus has seen a significant rise in year-on-year customer numbers.
Published by the National Transport Authority, 2017’s figures show an increase of over 9% on the previous year – equivalent to four straight years of passenger growth and a 10-year high.
By contrast, sister company Bus Éireann saw a 2.8% fall in its customer numbers – mainly as a result of three weeks of industrial action.
According to Dublin Bus, its 11 million customer increase is largely due to a ‘continuous focus on enhancing the customer experience’ – part of which included the introduction of new Euro 6 vehicles.
The firm plans to add a further 80 buses to its fleet over the coming year to keep up with the increased demand – the first of which are expected to enter service from this spring.
Ray Coyne, CEO at Dublin Bus, said of the figures: “2017 was a year of strong growth for the company and the city. Great cities need great public transport and at Dublin Bus, we are delighted to be playing our role in the success of Dublin.
“With the continued support of the National Transport Authority (NTA) we will build on these positive numbers with further service enhancements planned throughout 2018, to the benefit of Dublin and our customers.”
Anne Graham, CEO at the National Transport Authority, added: “In terms of bus services in the capital, Dublin Bus will increase capacity for peak and off-peak services throughout.
“Plans are also underway to increase the capacity on Bus Éireann contracted services throughout the country.
“NTA will be introducing a new service between Naas and Blanchardstown and a new Kilkenny city bus service in 2018. All this extra capacity is funded by additional government funding for public service obligation services secured by the Minister for Transport Tourism & Sport, Shane Ross T.D.”