Concerning Levels of Passengers on Darts
Travelled by Dart yesterday (Sunday) on the 1.20pm from Salthill & Monkstown to Howth.
As we travelled north on the southside, Darts in the other direction were obviously packed - we breathed a sigh of relief that we were travelling north.
Then we got to Connolly where there was a huge influx of passengers, mostly under 30s with some travelling in large groups (and presumably transferring from a Maynooth train) and the Dart was at close to pre-pandemic peak-time capacity. The Dart driver couldn't leave the station for about 5 mins because it appeared someone was blocking the doors. In all the time during the last 15 months, it was the most uncomfortable I've felt in terms of being potentially exposed to the virus, though I'm less worried than I might have been having had a vaccine in the last couple of weeks. At Howth Junction, quite a few more squeezed on, and we waited there for another 10 minutes before leaving (no explanation given by the driver this time). Not an ideal situation, with ventilation more limited than from a train in motion. We got off at Sutton, along with a 100+ others. About 20-30 people were not prepared to wait in the exit queue and crossed the tracks to the other platform after the train had departed.
Clearly, the good weather and the upbeat news last week about re-opening changes people's collective behaviour.
With many people still working from home, sunny summer Sundays could be the new peak time for public transport, and Irish Rail might need to run a more frequent service or be able to quickly add capacity as necessary. I presume the current 20 minute Sunday service does not use all the available Dart capacity?
The return on the late-running 7.55pm from Howth was a little less crowded, and happily it ran fast between Raheeny and Connolly to make up time, but was one of those Darts that has no windows to open.
Last edited by Eddie : 31-05-2021 at 14:47.