Strong growth in numbers using Cork bus routes means such passengers account for almost 40% of all fare income on Bus Éireann subsidised services.
A total of 11.7m passenger journeys were taken on bus routes operated in Cork by Bus Éireann last year, according to new figures published by the National Transport Authority (NTA).
An extra 800,000 journeys were made on the city’s bus services during 2015 — an annual increase of 7.3%.
Numbers using Cork City services have now grown by over 20% since 2012 — the highest increase for any services operated by Bus Éireann.
In 2012, the total number of passengers on such routes was 9.5m. Cork City services, which accounted for 33% of all Bus Éireann’s subsidised services four years ago, now represent 39% of such passengers.
Bus Éireann’s Expressway services are not included in the calculations as they serve routes that are not funded under subsidised contracts known as Public Service Obligations (PSO).
A spokesperson for the NTA said growth was driven by a reconfiguration of services in Cork City in recent years. It was also helped by reclassification of some routes as city bus services, according to the NTA.
Revenue from Cork City’s bus services rose by €2.24m last year to over €20.4m — an increase of 12.3%. Since 2012, Bus Éireann’s fare income has risen by over €6m or 43% from bus services in Cork.
Growth in passenger numbers across all Bus Éireann PSO services slowed to 1.8% last year following a 3.7% rise in 2014.
A total of 30.2m passenger journeys were made with the bus company during 2015 — up 540,000 on the previous year. Revenue on Bus Éireann subsidised routes, rose by 5.3% to €77.8m.
The NTA spokesperson said high growth levels recorded by Bus Éireann in 2015 were largely driven by the success of the reconfiguration of services in Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford, However, routes serving rural areas have continued to see a decline in passenger journeys. Passenger numbers in the other three cities were relatively stable with traffic in Limerick and Waterford effectively unchanged last year at 2.8m and 800,000 respectively.
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