Luas Improvements & Investment 2012
The Luas Red and Green Lines opened 8 years ago in 2004. Then in 2009, 2010 and 2011 extensions to The Point, Brides Glen and Saggart opened. Here at Luas we are constantly trying to improve the service and facilities we provide. Opening new lines or extension of lines is a huge undertaking but it’s not the only thing we do to improve Luas. Now, towards the end of 2012, we have completed a number of projects to improve Luas. These improvements cover everything from new routes, to stops or pull-ins for cars, to signs or directions and finding more sustainable light bulbs. Read on to find out more.
Luas Improvements 2012
- New Walking & Cycling Routes
- New Collection/Drop-Off Facilities
- New Stop Signs
- New Luas Mobile Website
- New Fare Evasion & Customer Security Initiative: Luas Tram Watch
- New Business Working Responsibly Mark
- New Luas Passenger Charter
- Improved Directions to Luas in The Docklands Area
- Improved Luas Cycle + Ride Facilities
- Improved Red Cow Facilities
- Improved Luas Sustainability
- Leap Card / Luas SmartCard Validators Moved
Luas is designed to serve local residential areas around its stops. Most people walk to Luas, or where there are bicycle parking and car parking facilities, people also cycle or drive to the stops.
Looking at local residential areas around Luas stops we could see that some of them did not have the quickest routes to their closest Luas stop. Often routes go around areas adding extra distance and thus time onto getting to the stops. So, in 2012, RPA identified a number of locations where these routes to the stops could be improved and set to work improving them in consultation with local residents.
Following public consultation RPA in conjunction with South Dublin County Council built an access route opening up Ambervale and nearby estates to the Cookstown Luas stop. The new access route is proving very popular with local residents.
Not everyone lives within walking or cycling distance of a Luas stop and we wanted to find a way to improve integration between Luas and private cars.
We have Collection / Drop-Off facilities at many of our Park + Ride facilities; these are spaces where drivers can pull in close to a Luas stop and drop off a passenger who then completes their journey on Luas. Or they can pick up a Luas passenger at a stop and complete their journey by car.
In 2012 we looked at the Luas stops where we could provide these facilities and we built new Collection / Drop-Off lay-bys at Fatima and Rialto stops on the Luas Red Line as well as a new one in Red Cow Park + Ride.
2012 - New Stop Signs
You have told us that extra signage would help you to find where Luas stops are and we have been working on this. Not all Luas stops are easily visible from surrounding roads and footpaths. This is especially true where the Luas lines use old railway cuttings which are normally below eye level and away from the street.
In 2012 we designed a Luas sign that we can place on the route to Luas stops where there is a junction with a road and / or footpath. These signs light up for extra visibility in the dark.
We started this year by installing a sign at Carrickmines Stop on the road and subject to funding we hope to install more in 2013.
In April of this year we launched the new Luas Mobile Website. This mobile website is designed to deliver key information to customers in a quick and efficient manner on their smartphones. It is a lighter and mobile adapted version of www.luas.ie. All the key features of the full Luas website are optimised so it is fast, accessible and easy to navigate. The Luas Mobile Website was awarded “Best Mobile Site 2012” at the Irish Web Award on 1st November. Click m.luas.ie from your smartphone to discover it!
Through our Customer satisfaction surveys and the Meet the Manager exercises you told us that you felt that anti-social behaviour was on the increase. To tackle this as well as fare evasion, since April 2012 we have teamed up with Luas private security provider STT, An Garda Síochána and the Department of Social Protection to introduce Luas Tram Watch. This multi-agency approach consists of teams boarding trams and ensuring all passengers have a valid ticket or social welfare travel pass and that those behaving in an anti-social manner are not allowed on-board.
2012 – Luas Operator, Veolia Transdev Dublin achieves the Business in the Community Ireland’s ‘Business Working Responsibly’ Mark
The ‘Business Working Responsibly’ Mark is Ireland’s only certification for responsible and sustainable business practices. Achieving the Mark indicates that Veolia Transdev Dublin have excellent practices in the area of environment, reporting systems, corporate governance, customer care, staff wellbeing and many other areas.
In early 2012, Luas designed and published a new Passenger Charter. This new charter reflects in the most accurate way possible your rights and expectations but also ours.
- Click here to see the New Luas Passenger Charter.
The extension of the Luas Red line to The Point opened in Dec 2009 adding 4 new stops at George’s Dock, Mayor Square, Spencer Dock and The Point.
To make it easier for people to find these Luas stops, RPA in conjunction with Dublin City Council are installing new wayfinding signage in the Docklands area this year.
Over the last few years Luas has been improving Cycle + Ride facilities along both Luas lines. In 2012 we continued this work.
- New bicycle parking spaces at Harcourt Stop
- New bicycle parking spaces at Suir Road Stop
- New bicycle parking spaces at Heuston Stop
- Sheltered bicycle parking with extra spaces at Spencer Dock Stop
- Sheltered bicycle parking with extra spaces at Windy Arbour Stop
- Improved cyclist access from Brewery Road to Sandyford Stop in conjunction with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council
Red Cow stop and Park + Ride is a key interchange on the Luas Red Line and serves all types of customers:
- Pedestrians with footpaths for various directions
- Cyclists with cycle routes for various directions plus cycle parking
- Private cars with good access from N7 close to the M50 junction and 715 parking spaces including 12 blue badge spaces.
- Electric cars with charging points in preferential parking spaces
- Regional Bus passengers at bus stops for various regional buses serving the N7 corridor and Dublin Airport
As a key interchange we wanted to improve facilities and improve the information and directions for customer using the facilities. So in 2012 we made a number of improvements and added new facilities at Red Cow.
- Completed a number of minor upgrades to the car parking such as line markings
- Installed new bus stops and improved bus passenger waiting area
- Installed a new Taxi Rank
- Installed new maps and wayfinding so people can better find their way to facilities in Red Cow and access in and out.
- Built a new Collection / Drop-Off pull-in
- We hope that these changes will make Red Cow an easier interchange for everyone to use.
At Luas we are dedicated to bringing you sustainable public transport and we recognise the importance of making sustainability central to the way we live and work.
In 2012 we trialled energy efficient lighting technology on Luas. In 2013 we hope to replace approximately 50% of existing Luas stop lighting bulbs with energy efficient bulbs. When installed these will reduce Luas energy consumption making Luas more sustainable and reducing costs.
In 2012 we also surveyed all Luas equipment on the lines to monitor energy consumption. The results of this survey allow us to implement improved and remote analysis of energy usage and identify future improvements that will make Luas more sustainable and reduce costs.
The uptake of the Luas SmartCard and more recently the Leap Card on Luas has been very successful. But that success has led to a problem for customers.
With more people using Leap Card / Luas SmartCard and very busy platforms, getting to the Validators was not always easy. To make it easier for passengers in 2012 we moved the Validators at Sandyford, Four Courts, James’s, Drimnagh, Blackhorse, Bluebell, Kylemore, Hospital, Charlemont, Cowper and Milltown stops from the middle to the edge of the platform. This means people can now easily Touch-On and Touch-Off at busy stops.