Passenger numbers up in Translink review

More people are choosing passenger transport as bus and rail passenger numbers exceed targets, Translink have revealed.

A larger number of people used Translink bus and rail services during 2011/12 compared to the previous year, according to figures published this week in the company’s Annual Review.

A record 10.7 million passengers used Translink NI Railways services – 3.7 percent above 2010/11 figures. Combined rail and bus passenger numbers increased from 77 million in 2010/11 to 77.25 million in 2011/12, beating the budget of 76.4 million.

Translink Goldline coach services were 6 percent above budget, Metro services were 1.6 percent above budget and Ulsterbus services were 1 percent above budget.

“Despite the economic downturn, we have performed well in retaining our passenger base. Our rail passenger numbers continue to grow strongly and just recently we took delivery of the last of 20 new trains so we are looking forward to further growth” said Catherine Mason, Translink Group Chief Executive.

“Bus service introductions such as Cairnshill Park & Ride and the Metro 26 to Titanic Quarter have also been very successful. There has been an unprecedented level of local high-profile events over the past year in which our services have played an important role transporting large numbers of people.

“Our successful transportation plan for the Irish Open golf shows how passenger transport can meet the travel requirements of thousands of people, reduce road congestion and contribute positively to the overall NI visitor experience.

“We also exceeded ‘on time’ and reliability targets set out in our Passenger’s Charter. Value for money remains a high priority for our customers and we have delivered a range of popular promotions such as Metro Smart Saturday deals, third-off train journeys and selected Goldline services after 9.30am alongside value tickets including Smartlink for bus and mLink for train customers,” Catherine added.

“It is clear that as passenger numbers continue to grow, more people are recognising the benefits of passenger transport for the individual traveller, the local community, the environment and sustainable development as a whole.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to work closely with the Department for Regional Development to identify final funding and priorities and to implement bus priority measures to help tackle congestion issues and increase bus speeds. Our customer programme of work will involve network enhancements, capital projects and customer information developments.”

A full copy of Translink’s Annual Review is available online at www.translink.co.uk/annualreview.