This week’s climate bill focuses on transport as an area for particular attention. The sector’s disproportionate contribution to our suicidal emissions total cannot continue if catastrophe is to be averted.
The challenge may seem daunting but figures published this week suggest that transformation may not be as difficult, or as far away, as it might seem at first. In fact, it is already underway.
They show a public willingness to embrace change — for whatever reason — that must be seen as a positive cultural shift.
The National Transport Authority recorded that journeys on public transport grew by almost 24m since 2018. This 9% year-on-year jump involved 290m passengers with Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, Luas or Go-Ahead, the public service obligation (PSO) service.
This shift in behaviour is hugely welcome even if it intensifies pressure on planners to ensure that city developments are matched by enhanced public transport services and commuter cycling opportunities — especially as parking in most urban settings has become a new tax on work.