Irish Rail encourage commuters to stagger their journeys

Emma Nevin

Irish rail is encouraging travellers to make changes to their daily commute times in an attempt to ease overcrowding on the Dart during rush hour.

The company has launched a new website called peak, to give passengers information about which trains are busiest and at what times you will be able to find a quieter train. This is in the hope that travellers with time flexibility will stagger their commute and take the pressure off the Dart services at their peak times, while also making passengers’ journeys’ more comfortable.

Peak will show commuters who are in a position to alter commuting times how a change of even 10 minutes in some instances will find quieter trains,” an Irish Rail spokesperson said.

The focus of this initiative is on the morning rush hour, which sees an average of 14000 passengers travelling during this period, compared to 10000 in the evening. One in six of all weekday Dart journeys are made between 8 am and 9 am, with the Northside towards city centre direction being the busiest.

The website is expected to expand over the coming months to include information about trains in the Greater Dublin Area. It was launched this month as their services are now significantly busier due to third-level students being back in college.

UCD Business and French student Niamh Moore described using the Dart at rush hour as “fairly grim.”

“You barely have enough space to breathe”, she said. “People often need to get off the dart momentarily in order to allow flow through the carriage and let people get off at each stop.”

But staggering her commute is not an option for Niamh.

“If I need to be in college for 9 am, I have to leave the house before 7 am and if I take a Dart even ten minutes later than I usually would, I risk getting a later bus and being late to my lecture. I imagine most students/workers are in the same boat.”

There were 20.9 million journeys on the Dart last year – up 10 per cent on 2017 – and 22 million expected this year.

Emma Nevin

Image Credit: Joy Nwagiriga