More people in Northern Ireland are choosing public transport as their ‘first choice for travel’, with Translink passenger journeys topping 84.5 million last year, the highest in over 20 years. This is the third year in succession there has been strong growth, demonstrating the resurgence of public transport in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the new figures, Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said:
“Last year we carried 3.4 million additional passenger journeys removing over 2.8 million car journeys from our roads and saving thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions. The growth was across bus, coach and rail with a record 30 million journeys on Metro & Glider and 15.8 million for rail. There was also strong growth in passengers choosing Ulsterbus, Goldline, Enterprise, Park and Ride and Airport Express Services. "
“This revival in public transport is good news for everyone as it helps support the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the region, enabling the outcomes of the NI Executive Draft Programme for Government."
“The recent launch of Glider has transformed Belfast, reconnecting the east and west of the city and offering new opportunities that has led to over 45,000 additional passenger journeys every week. 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."
“While these investments are welcomed, funding for public transport is still approx. 50% less in NI compared to other regions in the UK and as stated in the NI Audit Office Report, (The Effectiveness of Public Transport in NI*), a renewed focus on public transport, supported by a rebalancing of funding priorities, will be essential to successfully achieving long term modal shift.’
‘‘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."
Chris concluded: “With Bus and Train Week 2019 starting next week, I want to encourage even more people to make public transport their ‘first choice for travel’ and join the increasing smartmover generation."
Translink's mission is to deliver a transformation in public transport, providing integrated services which connect people, enhance the economy and improve the environment, enabling a thriving Northern Ireland. Our mission is to deliver a transformation in public transport, providing integrated services which connect people, enhance the economy and improve the environment, enabling a thriving Northern Ireland.