Most drivers would leave their car more often if public transport was better – survey


People would rely less on their vehicles if public transport in Ireland improved, according to a new survey.

he Automobile Association Ireland surveyed over 4,200 motorists and found that 87 per cent of motorists felt there was a ‘big difference’ between public transport in rural and urban areas.

The results show that 80 percent of respondents believe people would leave their cars at home more often if public transport was improved.

Of those surveyed, 42 percent said they lived in a rural area, while 59 percent said they lived in an urban area.

When asked in the survey if they had access to public transport in their area, 47 percent answered “yes in an urban area”, 8 percent answered “yes in a rural area”, while 16 percent said they had no access .

About 9 percent of respondents said the only way to access public transport in a rural area is to drive there first, and 6 percent said it was unreliable.

Meanwhile, 26 percent said more funding is needed for public transport, 40 percent said infrastructure needs improvement, 30 percent said cheaper fares need to be introduced, while 36 percent said more services need to be added.

The AA’s communications director, Paddy Comyn, said it was “obvious that there is a big difference” between public transport in rural and urban areas.

“High fuel prices mean stress for people who rely solely on their car. An improvement in public transport infrastructure, additional services, cheaper fares, that’s what people want to see. When the alternatives are there, people will move away from their cars,” he said.

“With Covid-19 still an issue, many people still seem reluctant to use public transport for this reason, and with many people now hybrid, traffic levels are now lower than before the pandemic began.”

Traffic in Dublin is down 12 per cent, while rural traffic is down 8 per cent from pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest CSO figures. Public transport trips are also below pre-pandemic levels.

Bus travel in Dublin for the week ending 25 July was 78 per cent of the level for the week ending 2 March 2020. This compares to 87 per cent for bus travel outside of Dublin and 82 per cent for rail travel. Most drivers would leave their car more often if public transport was better – survey

Fry Electronics Team

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