60% increase in the number of people travelling by bus in Cork last year.

60% increase in the number of people travelling by bus in Cork last year.

According to data from the National Transport Authority (NTA), Bus Éireann made a significant jump in passengers travelling within Cork city and county, with an approximate 60% increase from 2021 to 2022.

The bus ridership in 2022 surged to 13.9 million passengers, a significant increase from 8.7 million in 2021 and 8.6 million in 2020.

Although the numbers of passengers in Cork last year were higher than those in the previous year, they were still lower than the pre-Covid figures - with 17.4 million trips taken back in 2019.

Seán Sherlock, the Labour TD from Cork East, requested for the number of bus users in Cork city and county for the last four years. We provided him with all the relevant figures for each bus route.

The NTA mentioned that the 2022 results still need finalising and may go through some changes or amendments.

Over the course of four years, the 220, 208 & 202 routes were used most often by commuters.

Peter Horgan, the Labour local area representative for Cork, noted that the current figures regarding public transportation choice had improved from 2021 to last year. Although this was a noteworthy change, he suggested specific incentives should be considered to encourage more people to opt for public transport.

We need to go beyond the pre-pandemic commuting numbers and aim for something more ambitious. It's crucial that we see a steady resurgence in commuting figures.

For the successful implementation of BusConnects, it is essential that we prioritize the multi-journey ticketing option over other route and bus corridor decisions.

To help alleviate the problem of traffic congestion, more Park N' Ride facilities should be implemented and made use of. This would go a long way in reducing peak-hour pressure on roads.

It is essential for the National Transport Authority and City Hall to launch a promotional campaign that emphasizes why using public transportation is beneficial. This would be extremely helpful in promoting a greener, more efficient overall environment.

He suggested that people should be informed more regularly of the cost of public transport to their pockets and its contribution to climate change.

The Labour party remain confident that the €9 climate ticket proposed by Duncan Smith, their Transport Spokesperson for Cork, would have increased passenger numbers substantially.

Cllr John Maher was successful in persuading the decision-makers to add an additional 24-hour bus service route for the Northside and East-West under BusConnects.

Mr Horgan went on to voice the need for greater ambition when it comes to public transport in Cork.