The number of journeys on subsidised public transport and commercial bus services has increased by almost 26 million since 2013.
In 2013, there were 210m passengers on subsidised Public Service Obligation (PSO) services, while in 2016, that number went up to 236m.
All PSO operators have experienced an increase in that three-year period with Dublin Bus increasing from 112m to 125m; Bus Éireann 29m to 32m; Iarnród Éireann 37m to 43m; Luas 31m to 34m. In addition, LocalLink, the rural transport programme increased passenger numbers from 1.74m to 1.79m between those years.
A positive expansion in the numbers using licensed commercial bus services is also evident, increasing by a quarter from 20m in 2013 to 25m in 2016. These bus services, which are licensed by the NTA but operate without any public subsidy, represent just under 10% of all public transport journeys.
Although a drop off in demand for public transport was witnessed during the downturn, growth in total passenger journeys over the past three years has been strong. For example, all modes of PSO funded public transport witnessed a lift. Total PSO passenger journeys grew by 8 million in 2014, a further 8 million in 2015 and grew by 10 million in 2016.
The figures were among those included in Bus and Rail Statistics for Ireland – State Funded Services and the Commercial Bus Services in Ireland – 2016 Statistics.