New drive to increase train passenger numbersSeptember 6, 2012 - 7:00am
Iarnród Éireann is offering free parking at several Galway stops in an effort to boost passenger numbers on the floundering service to Limerick.
Recent figures showed and average of just 95 people per day were using the route – one-third of initial projections – last year.
However, the rail company has said passenger numbers rose by 50% during the summer months.
It will also be introducing free parking at Craughwell, Ardrahan and Gort train stations as a “promotion” for Western Rail Corridor passengers.
“The traditional seasonal boost to passenger numbers on the line from the summer tourist months has once again been demonstrated, with numbers up by 50% during the summer months over the rest of the year.
“Free car parking at Craughwell, Ardrahan and Gort is one of a range of measures being taken to promote the service to capitalise on the additional summer demand through the rest of the year.
“Students can also avail of monthly commuter tickets along the line. This enables students from locations along the route to commute daily to the major third level institutions in Galway and Limerick, saving the cost of renting,” a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, a number of the daily services on the route operate using Iarnród Éireann’s newest railcar fleet, which are equipped with free wi-fi internet access.
“The regional fleet operating the remainder of Western Rail Corridor services will also be equipped with free wi-fi during September, meaning all WRC services will have wi-fi,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for West on Track – which campaigned for the re-opening of the Western Rail Corridor – welcomed the announcements.
See full story in this week's Connacht Tribune.