Investment in Ireland’s public transport will exceed €1 billion for the first time this year as part of the Government’s commitment to climate friendly travel.

The funding will support the progression of major infrastructural projects, such as Metrolink and BusConnects, increasing capacity on rail services, and supporting the phased transition of the public transport fleet to lower emission fuel types.

“My department is committed to providing more sustainable and climate friendly transport choices for travellers,” said Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.

“This commitment to climate action will see investment in public transport exceed €1 billion for the first time in 2020. We will continue investing in transport infrastructure to ensure present and future transport needs are met, for the benefit of society, the environment and the economy.”

Ross says the investment reflects the priorities of the Climate Action Plan, which outlines the actions necessary to ensure Ireland meets its 2030 climate commitments, putting the country on a trajectory for net zero emissions by 2050.

Data from the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport’s newly released ‘Transport Trends 2019’ has shown that the number of passengers on the main public transport services Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, Bus Éireann PSO and Luas increased by 12.5 million to almost 265 million in 2018.

The number of new vehicles licensed in 2018 fell for the second year running to 157,865, a 2.5 percent reduction on 2017 numbers. While the total number of vehicles (old and new) on Irish roads reached its highest ever level at 2.7 million vehicles, including 2.1 million private cars.

There were 2006 new electric vehicles registered in 2018, up 119 percent since 2017.