Belfast Telegraph

Public transport on track as figures surge to 20-year high in Northern Ireland

More than 84.5 million journeys were made on Translink services in the last year - the highest number in over 20 years, according to new figures. (stock photo)
More than 84.5 million journeys were made on Translink services in the last year - the highest number in over 20 years, according to new figures. (stock photo)
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

More than 84.5 million journeys were made on Translink services in the last year - the highest number in over 20 years, according to new figures.

This surge represents an increase of 3.4m from the previous year, removing an estimated 2.8m car journeys from Northern Ireland's roads.

Translink said this is the third year in a row there has been strong growth and demonstrates the resurgence of public transport in Northern Ireland.

The growth was across bus, coach and rail, with 30m journeys made on Metro and Glider and 15.8m by rail.

More passengers also chose to avail of Ulsterbus, Goldline, Enterprise, Park and Ride and Airport Express services.

Translink chief executive Chris Conway said passenger journeys had been boosted by the recent launch of the Glider service in Belfast.

"We also launched a new Urby Ulsterbus service in the Greater Belfast area which is also proving popular and have placed orders for 21 new train carriages," he said.

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"These are good examples of what can be achieved with investment in high quality public transport.

"The strong performance of recent years clearly shows investing in public transport is the right choice for Northern Ireland. As well as being central to tackling climate change and air pollution, it connects people, enables more active and healthy lifestyles, and supports a growing economy."

Welcoming the figures, Green Party councillor Aine Groggan said: "It's great news that more people than ever before used public transport across Northern Ireland.

"An efficient and affordable public transport encourages people to leave their cars at home, which in turn reduces congestion and air pollution levels.

"It's true Translink can improve service provision and many people encounter difficulties accessing public transport."

Belfast Telegraph

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