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Dublin Bus services must increase to ease overcrowding on Luas Green Line - SF

3 January, 2007

South Dublin Sinn Féin representative Shaun Tracey has called on Dublin Bus to return the 48A to its pre Luas status and to increase the frequency of the 44 and the 46B to Belarmine. Mr. Tracey made his comments today after the Chief Executive of the railway procurement agency conceded that there are significant overcrowding problems on the Luas Green Line. Mr. Tracey said a major contributor to the problem was the cutting back of the 48A after the Green Line opened.

He said, "Not long after the Luas Green Line opened to the public the 48A was cut to a fraction of its original frequency. At the time Dublin Bus said the frequency could not be sustained due to competition with the Luas. However profit making is not the primary function of Dublin Bus. It is there to provide a service to the people of Dublin regardless of profit margins. We now have a situation were commuters are crammed onto trams like sardines because they do not have the option of taking the bus. Therefore I am calling for the 48A to be restored to its original pre Luas status to relieve pressure on the Luas.

"Also, there must be no cutting back of the 44 route when the Green Line is extended to Cherrywood. This line will be even busier when the extension opens and it is crucial that there is an adequate bus service in place to compliment the Luas. With this in mind there needs to be an increase in the frequency of both the 44 and the 46B to Belarmine.

"The 46B in particular needs to be significantly increased as there are currently only three buses out in the morning and three back in the evening and they regularly fail to turn up leaving commuters stranded. This has happened many times over the Christmas period when commuters really depended on the bus.

"Frank Allen of the Railway Procurement Agency says the frequency of the trams will increase and they are looking at increasing the length of the trams also to ease overcrowding. However both of these cause complications. The trams must run at the road speed limits when they get into town and any further increase in frequency will cause a backlog of trams in the city centre. And, the platforms are not long enough to facilitate the lengthening of the trams. The best and quickest way to ease the overcrowding on the Luas Green Line is to increase the frequency of the bus services complementing the line." ENDS

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