Record Numbers Using Public Transport

Translink has reported a growth in the amount of people using public transport in Northern Ireland, with journeys exceeding 84.5 million last year- a new record for the region.

The amount of people who chose Translink's services as their "first choice for travel" contributed to the surge which brought public transport use to its highest point in over 20 years.

The figures follow two previous years of strong growth, demonstrating the resurgence of public transport use in the region.

Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said the news is good for everyone, as it supports the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Northern Ireland.

"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," Mr Conway commented. "The growth was across bus, coach and rail with a record 30million journeys on Metro & Glider and 15.8million for rail. There was also strong growth in passengers choosing Ulsterbus, Goldline, Enterprise, Park and Ride and Airport Express Services."
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Last year's launch of the Glider network transformed travel across Belfast, reconnecting the east and west of the city and encouraging 45,000 additional journeys each week.

A new Urby Ulsterbus service was also rolled out in greater Belfast and Translink has placed orders for 21 new train carriages.

Mr Conway added: "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.

"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," Mr Conway concluded.


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