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Sunday 25 September 2016

Irish Rail to hire summer staff as passenger numbers increase

Dart passengers journeys are up by 7.5pc
Dart passengers journeys are up by 7.5pc

Irish Rail is set to hire temporary summer staff for the first time in a decade to cope with growing passenger numbers.

Some 17.15 million journeys were made on the Dart service last year, an increase of 7.5pc, while just over 12 million trips were made on its commuter services.

A spokesman said that the busy summer period would see high numbers of "occasional" rail travellers using its services including tourists, concert and match-goers and families.

"To ensure our stations are resourced to assist customers, we are hiring 24 temporary customer service personnel for the Greater Dublin area, for stations in the city centre and busy tourism destinations," he said.

"It's the first time in almost a decade that we've been in a position to supplement resourcing in this way, and it's a great opportunity for those with a passion for customer service to work in a busy environment full of variety, and get excellent experience working with the public."

Applicants should send CVs to recruitment@irishrail.ie by June 30.

Figures from the National Transport Authority (NTA) showed that passenger numbers had increased across Luas and Irish Rail services nationally by more than 5pc year-on-year.

Some 74.26 million journeys were made across the entire rail network in 2015, compared with 70.41 million in 2014.

Growth

"While Dart passenger journeys grew by an impressive 7.5pc in 2015, commuter passenger journeys have grown by about 3.5pc each year for the last two years," the NTA's Rail Statistics for Ireland report stated.

But it said that growth in passenger journeys on Irish Rail services was lower than that on Luas.

"Growth in passenger journeys on Luas recovered in 2013 and is leading all the economic indicators in terms of growth," it said.

"Growth in Irish Rail passenger journeys stabilised in 2013 and is growing since 2014 but at a slower rate than Luas.

"Although the economy is the dominant factor behind people's propensity to travel, there are other factors that influence demand, particularly for public transport and these include fares, service quality and competition."

The report showed:

l Some 39.66 million trips were made on Luas, up 4.9pc.

l Luas trams travelled a total of 3.664 million kms last year. Irish Rail operated 15.96 million kms.

l Fare revenue from Irish Rail passengers totalled €184m, up 5.5pc.

l Dart revenue stood at €38.54m, up 7pc.

l Luas fare income rose 7.3pc to €54.37m.

The report also noted that Irish Rail received €14.63m, and Luas €3.91m, from the Department of Social Protection to fund the free-travel scheme .

It also showed that subsidies paid to Irish Rail continued to fall, down to €98m in 2015.

This compared with €189m in 2007, although it did receive additional funding for its infrastructure business.

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