Dublin City Centre experiences steady growth in public transport passenger numbers post-pandemic

Latest report highlights public transport patronage returns to 95 percent of pre-pandemic levels

27 June 2024

In a report published today by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Dublin City Council (DCC), figures show year-on-year passenger growth on public transport post-pandemic, with public transport patronage returning to 95% of their 2019 levels.

The Canal Cordon Report

The Canal Cordon report, which details the evolving trends in transportation modes for individuals and vehicles entering Dublin’s City Centre over the past 17 years, was established to provide insight into Dublin’s commuting landscape, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canal Cordon area, comprising 33 strategic locations, serves as a key monitoring zone for tracking the movements of people and vehicles during the AM peak period. The report utilizes data collected from various sources, including Dublin City Council, Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann (Irish Rail), and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

Increase in passenger numbers on all modes of transport

This year’s Canal Cordon Report reveals a notable increase in public transport usage, with passenger numbers rising by 3.2% compared to the previous year. This trend reflects a broader shift towards sustainable and shared modes of transport, as evidenced by a 2.4% decline in car usage.

In 2023, 74% of inbound journeys within the Canal Cordon were made using sustainable modes of transport, including public transport, walking, cycling, and taxis. This figure represents a 7% increase from 2022, underscoring Dublin’s commitment to sustainability and reducing car dependency.

Bus passenger numbers surpass 2019 levels

Within the sustainable modes of transport, bus has seen the most significant growth of passenger numbers. In 2023, passenger numbers surpassed their 2019 levels with 66,949 individuals using bus as their preferred mode of transport.

The overall decrease of 12.6% in inbound journeys is a result of the significant impact the shift from a five-day in-office week to hybrid working has had on working patterns and will continue to influence travel trends in the future.

For further information, the full Canal Cordon Report is available here.