Luas operator makes loss despite passenger increase

The operator of Dublin’s Luas light rail service plunged into the red last year, with pre-tax losses of €612,092, despite seeing record passenger numbers.

Newly filed accounts for Transdev Dublin Light Rail Ltd show Luas carried a record 34.6m passengers in 2015; 6% more than in 2014.

It was also its eighth successive year of rising passenger numbers.

However, revenues fell by 36% to €30.9m and the company turned a loss after a change in commercial terms. 

According to the company’s directors, the revenue fall is due to “a lower base revenue under the terms of the new contract and a change in commercial terms giving rise to a different accounting treatment for certain maintenance services”.

The directors added: “Under the previous contract with the Rail Procurement Agency, the company recognised revenue and related costs for certain maintenance services gross whereas under the terms of the revised contract revenue and related costs are now reported net, resulting in a decrease in revenue and cost of sales.”

The loss “relates to the more challenging nature of the new contract with Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the National Transport Authority”, the company said.

Work is underway on Luas Cross City, which will link the green and the red lines and is expected to increase passenger numbers by 10m per annum.

Earlier this year passengers were prevented from using the service over 12 days as a result of a bitter industrial dispute between Transdev and its Siptu-linked drivers. 

The dispute with the drivers was resolved after both sides agreed to a Labour Court recommendation


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