PASSENGER numbers on Bus Éireann routes in Cork city and county increased by almost 60 percent last year compared to 2021, according to provisional figures from the National Transport Authority (NTA).
In 2022, 13.9m passenger journeys were recorded on the various bus routes in the city and county, compared to 8.7m in 2021 and 8.6m in 2020.
While last year’s figures marked a significant increase on the year previous, passenger numbers were still down on pre-Covid levels, with 17.4m passenger journeys in Cork in 2019.
The figures were provided to Cork East Labour TD Seán Sherlock who requested the number of bus users on each individual bus route in Cork city and county across the four year period.
The NTA said the 2022 figures have not been finalised and may be subject to some changes or revisions.
Across the four years, the three most popular routes were the 220, the 208 and the 202.
Commenting on the figures, Labour local area rep for Cork, Peter Horgan welcomed the increase in passenger numbers last year compared to 2021 but said more needs to be done to incentivise people to use public transport.
“It is important to see commuting figures creep back to pre-pandemic levels, but we have to be more ambitious now to surpass that.
“We need to see the multi-journey ticketing option of BusConnects rolled out ahead of routes and bus corridor decisions.
“We need to see more Park N’ Ride sites created and utilised to reduce traffic pinch flows.
“We need, desperately, from the NTA and City Hall, to see a PR campaign highlighting the reasons to use the bus and public transport.
“We should be bombarded with messages about the cost of public transport to your back pocket and the impact on climate change,” he said.
“We in Labour still believe that our Transport Spokesperson Duncan Smith's €9 climate ticket for Cork would have raised passenger numbers even more.
Mr Horgan continued.