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Dublin Live
Dublin Live
Emma Nevin

National Transport Authority considering running Luas overnight on weekends

The National Transport Authority is examining how the Luas can run between the hours of 1am and 5am on Friday and Saturday nights in a bid to ease pressure on the taxi industry.

TDs have said the lack of taxis in Dublin city centre is becoming a "serious issue" and have called for "swift action". Figures released to Dublin Rathdown TD Neale Richmond show that just 32 taxis and licensed vehicles have been added to the Dublin's ranks so far this year.

He said: “Not only do we have a lack of taxis, but drivers are choosing not to work when we need them the most. Only 29% of taxi drivers are currently working during the evenings, weekends or on bank holidays."

Read more: Just 32 taxis added to Dublin fleet this year as punters left stranded at night

CEO of the National Transport Authority Anne Graham said that they are working to incentivise taxi drivers to work during peak hours.

She told RTE Primetime: "There are a number of different actions that we are taking just looking at the taxi industry in particular. We will be undertaking a driver recruitment campaign to encourage more drivers to come into the industry.

"We just completed a maximum fares order and that's about incentivising drivers to operate particularly at night time. We're talking about four hours in a week which is on a Friday and Saturday night, that's the peak demand time.

"We are ensuring that in our taxi maximum fares order that we just completed, that drivers will be paid more for operating within those hours so they'll get more of an increase.

"At the same time then we're looking at public transport in its widest sense. We're looking to see if we can increase the number of services that are available, particularly in our cities, on a 24-hour basis."

When asked about why the Luas does not run later into the night, Ms Graham cited maintenance issues but said they are "looking to see" if they can extend its operating hours during peak times.

She said: "There's a particular difficulty on our rail systems because they don't operate for about four hours which is between 1am and 5am. A lot of track maintenance and vehicle maintenance is done overnight so they need those periods of time in order to do that maintenance.

"However, we are looking to see if we can increase the time period which they operate on those peak times, on Friday and Saturday, but it does have an impact on how the operator can maintain the services."


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