Translink reports that passenger journeys in Northern Ireland topped 84.5 million last year, the highest in over 20 years, and the third year in succession there has been strong growth. The company says the figures demonstrate the “resurgence of public transport in Northern Ireland” with more people choosing public transport as their “first choice for travel”.
Chris Conway, Translink Group chief executive, says: “Last year we carried 3.4million additional passenger journeys removing over 2.8million 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.
“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.”
However, Conway points out that funding for public transport is 50 per cent less in Northern Ireland compared to other regions in the UK and says a “rebalancing of funding priorities, will be essential to successfully achieving long term modal shift”.