Local Link rural service increases passenger numbers by 759 per cent, says O’Reilly

Senator Pauline O’Reilly.

Senator Pauline O’Reilly.

The annual patronage on Local Link services has seen a remarkable 759 per cent increase in passenger numbers from 2018 to 2023. Local Link rural bus services, connecting towns and townlands in rural Ireland carried 3.2 million passengers in 2023, a 14% increase on the 2.8 million passenger journeys in 2022.

Speaking at the announcement today on public transport passenger numbers Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly said she is “delighted to see a 759% increase in passenger numbers from 2018 to 2023 on Local Link rural services”. She went on to say, “this just proves that if you provide the right service people will use it as an alternative to driving. The increased number of services benefit the community by connecting towns and villages across Ireland and making public transport more attractive”.

Over sixty new and enhanced services were launched in towns and villages across Ireland, under the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan last year.

Over 304 million passenger journeys were provided by Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Luas, Go-Ahead Ireland and Local Link on ‘Transport for Ireland’ Public Service Obligation (PSO ) services last year, making it the busiest ever year for Ireland’s public transport network. The latest figures represent a 23% increase in passenger numbers during 2023 when compared with the previous year.

Bus Éireann served in excess of 44 million passengers during the past twelve months, a significant increase on the 35 million passengers who used its services the previous year. Preliminary figures from Iarnród Éireann show rail passenger journeys in 2023 achieved one of its highest every totals, as the post Covid recovery continues.

An estimated 45.5 million passenger journeys were made during the past 12 months, up from 35.8 million in 2022. The 2023 totals saw 90% of pre-Covid demand achieved with the highs of 50.1 million set to be achieved during 2024.


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