41% of people less likely to use public transport now – AA Ireland

Dublin Bus

Around 2 in 5 people (41%) say they’re less likely to use public transport now compared to before the pandemic, while 4% say they are more likely to use it now.

Those are the findings of a recent poll of 8,241 people (AA Customers) by AA Ireland

It comes as data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that while public transport levels have increased in 2021, they are still below 2019 levels.

According to the CSO, the total number of rail and bus journeys is now at almost 70% of those taken in early March 2020 (pre COVID-19). The number of bus journeys outside of Dublin is almost 78% of pre COVID-19 levels. The corresponding level for bus journeys within Dublin is 70%.

Data on the Luas shows that journeys taken on the Red Line are now at its highest level since the beginning of the year, but remain below 2019 levels. Green Line journeys have increased compared to 2020, but are still almost 46% lower than 2019.

AA Ireland’s poll also found that 31% of motorists (around 1 in 3) say they’re more likely to drive now, with 34% saying they are more likely to walk to their destination.

According to the CSO’s latest data, car traffic volumes are now at 90% of August 2019 levels in the Dublin area and 91% in regional locations.

In September 2021, 6,354 new private cars were licensed in Ireland, compared with 5,747 in September 2020 – an increase of 11%.

“We understand that public transport use is being encouraged now more than ever, as seen with the recent Budget announcement of a youth travel card for 19-23 year olds. However, changing the attitude of the public will be a slow process, as some people are still hesitant to travel on public transport post Covid,” says Anna Cullen from AA Ireland.

Also in this survey, 60% of people (3 in 5) say they intend to travel abroad next year, while 12% say they will travel within Ireland.

6% also state that they ‘never’ purchase travel insurance when travelling abroad. 

The CSO data on aviation shows that the number of passengers travelling through the main airports in August 2021 was 65% lower than the same month in 2019.

It also found that the total number of passengers in those airports in the first eight months of 2021 fell from 7,103,736 to 3,125,446 when compared with the same period in 2020.