Translink journeys hit a record 84.5 million
More than 84.5 million journeys were made on Translink services in the last year, according to new figures.
This number is an increase of 3.4m from the previous year, removing an estimate 2.8m car journeys from Northern Ireland's roads.
Chris Conway, Translink Group chief executive, said the recent launch of the Glider service in Belfast has helped boost passenger journeys.
"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. These are good examples of what can be achieved with investment in high quality public transport," he said.
Mr Conway pointed out, however, that funding for public transport in Northern Ireland is 50% less than that of other UK regions.
A 2015 Audit Office report stated "a renewed focus on public transport, supported by a re-balancing of funding priorities will be essential" to ensure the sector's future performance.
Mr Conway said: "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."
Green Party councillor Aine Groggan welcomed the figures.
“It’s great news that more people than ever before used public transport across Northern Ireland," she said.
“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 that Translink can improve service provision and that many people encounter difficulties in accessing public transport."
Belfast Telegraph Digital