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Dublin Commuter Coalition Celebrates 20th Birthday of LUAS

The Dublin Commuter Coalition gathered to celebrate the 20th birthday of the Luas, which took its first passengers on the 30th June 2004. Over the past 20 years, the Luas has become one of the city's most important transport links for daily commuters, made even more vital with the launch of Luas Cross City in 2017. 

The Luas, as with most transport infrastructure projects in Dublin, was met with significant criticism during construction. Famously, former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald said “An on-street LRT system for Dublin is a grossly inadequate, and indeed counterproductive concept in terms of traffic management.” If the Government of the day had listened to this rhetoric at the time, we might be waiting as long for the Luas, as we have been for MetroLink.

To mark the occasion, the members of the Dublin Commuter Coalition gathered at the original Green Line terminus; St. Stephen’s Green at 2pm. The group provided a cake and cupcakes in the shape of the LUAS for the general public, along with music and games.

Whilst today is a point of celebration, it also marks two decades since Ireland last launched a new public transit line in the Capital City. The Dublin Commuter Coalition are calling on the Government to bring forward plans and funding for the Lucan Luas, which is scheduled for delivery between 2031 & 2036, and is apparently ‘ready to go early’ according to CEO of TII; Peter Walsh. We would also like to see the existing Luas extensions to Finglas, Bray, and Poolbeg prioritized, with clear project timelines for delivery.

There are currently significant staffing issues within an Bord Pleanala, which is leading to long delays in public infrastructure projects. If the Government, TII, & the NTA intend for the Lucan Luas to meet the earlier 2031 launch date, then the planning process needs to start immediately.

Transport is one of the only business sectors in Ireland that is seeing increasing CO2 levels which needs to be addressed if the Country is to meet its legally binding climate targets in 2030. Bringing forward the Lucan Luas line, would make a considerable contribution to reducing vehicular emissions in Dublin as drivers switch onto the new service.

Public Relations Officer Gary Marshall said:

We’re delighted to gather today in celebration of the Luas’ 20th Birthday. The launch of light-rail in Dublin was met with immediate demand, and both services are now running at capacity during peak hours.

It’s very clear that the Luas network needs to be expanded and upgraded, to meet the growing demand and rising population. We hope to see a commitment from the Government to bring forward the delivery of the Lucan Luas line, and reinstatement of the Metro Standard upgrade for the Green line as soon as possible.

Chairperson Jason Cullen said:

The 20th Anniversary of the Luas is an important milestone, but also an important reminder of how long the City has been waiting for its promised transport services. This particular weekend was probably the busiest of the year in terms of people moving through the city, and it has very clearly shown us just how reliant we are on a small number of transit options. 

We need to further diversify the network by adding light rail and metro lines as quickly as possible, so in the event one does get temporarily shut down, the City can keep moving and Commuters can get where they need to go.

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