Poll: Is Northern Ireland public transport too expensive?
Cut fares to get more of us on buses and trains, says Northern Ireland public
Lower fares would get more people on public transport, a Government travel survey has found.
The findings come just weeks after Translink increased prices, with the average ticket for Metro, NI Railways and Ulsterbus going up by 1.6%.
The Travel Survey for Northern Ireland (TSNI) found that just one in six respondents (17%) travelled on a bus once a week or more.
A further 9% travelled by bus at least once a month, but less than once a week, while 44% said they never travelled by bus.
Around one in 30 respondents (3%) travelled on a train once a week or more, and an additional 6% travelled by train at least once a month, but less than once a week.
When asked what would encourage them to use local public transport more often, the most popular answer was cheaper fares (28%), followed by more frequent weekend services (19%).
However, just under a fifth (18%) said nothing would encourage them to use local public transport more often.
Another 11% stated that no improvements were necessary, and a further 4% said that they already use local public transport as much as possible.
The car still dominates when it comes to Northern Ireland people travelling to work.
More than four-fifths of respondents (82%) got to their jobs by car or van.
The majority drove to work on their own (80%), 15% travelled to work with one other person, and the rest (5%) had two or more other people in the vehicle when they drove to work.
There has also been an increase in the number of households which have access to a car - from 74% in 2003-05 to 80% in 2013-15.
In Belfast, 63% of households had access to at least one car in 2013-15, lower than households in the east (83%) and in the west (81%) of Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, just under two-thirds of respondents (63%) took a walk lasting at least 20 minutes once a week, and a quarter of respondents (25%) had cycled in the last 12 months.
Nearly half of these (48%) cycled once a week or more, and an additional 23% cycled at least once a month. Some 38% of cyclists said they would cycle more if there were more bike lanes.
A spokeswoman for Translink said fare-paying passenger numbers had grown by almost 10% in the last six years, with more than 1.5m additional fare-paying passengers carried on its bus and rail network last year.
"We proactively encourage passengers to use the range of great value promotions and multi-journey tickets available and we urge regular users to take advantage of the savings to be made," she said.
"Tickets such as Smartlink multi-journey offer discounts of around 30% for bus travel compared to paying cash fares and recently we have introduced more popular mobile ticketing options to offer customers even greater choice and convenience.
"In addition, off-peak travel offers such as a third off rail and selected Goldline services are also well used. We also have a range of offers available for Easter including a special 50% off Ulsterbus day return fares for the Easter week (April 17-22)."