herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

400 complaints over DART service in just three months

Dart train
Dart train

OVER 400 complaints have been made to Iarnrod Eireann over its DART service since last November, the Herald has learned.

Over 120 of the complaints related to station issues, from the condition of the station to its facilities.

Irish Rail stated that it recorded 60 complaints of on-board issues with DART, with 23 of those complaints relating to overcrowding concerns and eight referring to fare issues.

Speaking about the congestion concerns, an Irish Rail spokeswoman said they have been "reducing the number of carriages on some services, particularly off-peak so that we are not running services that have over capacity".

"At peak times our DART services are busy, but that is the nature of short distance commuting. We constantly monitor demand to ensure that we have sufficient capacity," she said.

There were 56 complaints made to Irish Rail over fares and ticketing issues with DART, with most of these complaints relating to issues with Leap cards. Irish Rail also recorded 97 complaints relating to service disruption, with most of these relating to signal faults and timekeeping, as opposed to more serious events.

rude

The company say that there were 18 complaints made in relation to its staff members being "unhelpful" or "rude."

Records of more serious complaints such as anti-social behaviour were relatively low, with 10 recorded complaints of "disorderly passengers" and three reports of vandalism.

"On average, 60,000 people use the DART every day, so 402 complaints is very low," the spokeswoman added.

"That said, we take every complaint seriously and investigate each one to endeavour to improve the service we provide to our DART customers."

A small number of complaints received referred to heating, cleanliness, dogs and toilet issues. Station issues topped the list of complaints, with service disruptions and onboard issues also high on the list. The figures come as one Dublin TD has said that the train service "isn't adequate".

Independent TD for Dublin Bay North Terence Flanagan said that locals in his constituency feel that the number of congested Darts is "not acceptable".

"People feel it's a big cost and that they are not really getting value for their money," Deputy Flanagan said.

hnews@herald.ie

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