Dublin Town welcomes the introduction of the Luas Cross City
Dublin Town, the city centre’s business improvement district welcomes the introduction of the Luas Cross City from the 9th December 2017. It is anticipated that the introduction of the new service will improve trade within the city. In a survey conducted in 2016, by Red C on behalf of Dublin Town, it was found that 44% of Dubliners said that they would be more likely with visit the city centre after the introduction of the cross city service with 12% noting that they are likely to visit a lot more often. This is clearly welcome news for city traders.
However, Dublin Town anticipates that the pattern of city usage may well change as passengers who previously alighted at Stephen’s Green will stay on the Luas until the Dawson, Westmoreland and O’Connell Street stops. They will therefore not be detected by the Grafton Street footfall cameras which may well indicate an apparent decline in footfall on that street while total numbers in the city actually increase.
It is also anticipated that the people who travel into the city by car may use the Luas to make the final leg of their journey across the city. Approximately 30% of people shopping on the south side of the city reside on the north side with a comparable number of people who shop on the north side residing south of the river. Surveys suggest that the €1 city centre fare will entice 51% of these cross city shoppers to use the Luas to cross the river. Were the fare to be reduced to 50c this proportion would rise to 73%. As the last 1km of a journey across the city can take a disproportionate length of time, we expect that an increasing number of city visitors will take the hassle-free option of the Luas to get around the city’s core.
Above all, the Luas Cross City project has demonstrated the city’s ability to conduct large scale infrastructure projects. Not only did it come in on time and on budget, but the city’s footfall rose in each year of the Luas Cross City construction. This is a remarkable achievement that should be celebrated and is testament to the manner in which the NTA and TII undertook the project and the manner in which business concerns were taken on board and changes to the work programmes initiated to address those concerns. This certainly bodes well for future large-scale projects to be undertaken in the coming years.