Two years since the Luas launch, it is hard to imagine life in Dublin without the light rail system.
The Luas Green Line between Sandyford and St Stephen's Green has been operating since 30 June 2004. The Luas Red Line from Connolly Station to Tallaght opened on 26 September 2004. Since then the Luas has been intrinsic to life in Dublin.
Director of the Dublin Transportation Office John Henry believes the public transport system in Dublin has suffered from 50 years of neglect.
The tram is the first step for us trying to recover from that, so were in a catch up phase.
Luas driver Eddie Byrne sees the benefits of the tram service first hand. A trip from Dundrum to the city centre that previously would have taken 90 minutes, now takes 15 minutes by Luas.
Eddie Byrne spent two weeks in Sweden and was impressed by the integrated transport system he saw in operation.
That’s the way we should be going.
Brian Brennan, General Manager of Veolia Transport the company that runs the Luas, says his staff constantly receive positive feedback from passengers. Passenger Elizabeth Dwyer gives her support for the Luas service,
It’s great, it’s really convenient it’s so much easier than waiting around for hours for a bus, at least you know exactly when it’s going to come.
Luas passenger Kevin Dechant agrees,
It really has been fantastic.
The Red Line has brought benefits to the area in which Kevin Dechant lives. Benburb Street has been transformed whereas it was once a no go area at night-time. This is assisted by the existence of closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance at trams stops as well as on trams.
Indirectly benefiting from the Luas are the young people attending St John Bosco Youth Centre in Drimnagh. The Drimnagh Luas stop has given their mural project a whole new audience. A boy praises the new facilities that have been build around the canal since the arrival of the Luas.
Not content to let the Luas rest on its laurels, some children suggest improvements that could be made to the tram. They would like to see it being bigger, more colourful and more like a rollercoaster.
A 'Capital D’ report broadcast on 1 June 2006. The reporter is Paul Tully. The presenter is Anne Cassin.