Sunday, 28 June 2015

Public Transport Reviews: the Luas

This begins a mini-series about public transport, since I've spent almost every day in the past few weeks commuting. I'm going to review the Luas today, the train tomorrow, intercity bus the day after and Dublin bus the day after that under six criteria: comfort, speed, reach, facilities, ease of use and cost. Each criterion holds a maximum of five points, so at the end I can add them all up and compare the public transport options with marks out of thirty. 



The Luas has a mixture of seats and standing room with rails. You can usually get a seat at some point in your journey, and while they're not the most comfortable there's no real problem. There's lots of priority seating for people with disabilities (which people sometimes abuse). Also, the Luas usually travels pretty smoothly at any speed thanks to its rails. 

Verdict: 3/5


I rarely notice the Luas travelling fast, but it gets me places quickly so I can't complain on this front. It doesn't have to keep stopping for traffic like a bus does, but obviously it does have to stop to drop people off. Overall, I'd say the Luas is very decent for speed (good, since Luas means speed) so if you're worried about being late I'd take the Luas. 

Verdict: 4/5


The Luas is only designed to run in Dublin, which is obviously a big limitation but one I think can be excused since that's its purpose. I think the Luas has very good reach within Dublin, in that there are Luas stops all over the place, not just in the most popular destinations. And Luas stops are located beside the street, unlike train stations. I need a Luas to get to St. James' Hospital for my research, and it's very convenient to just get the Luas from Connolly. No other service goes there, to my knowledge. 

Verdict: 4/5


The Luas is severely lacking in facilities, especially the most important: wifi. Everything else has wifi, why can't it? I don't think it has toilets either, and there's no food on board (there is on some Enterprise trains). Probably because of the short journeys. Seriously, though - get wifi. 

Verdict: 2/5

Ease of Use 

My favourite thing about the Luas is how easy it is to use, it's totally stress-free. If you miss your Luas, just wait at the stop and there'll be another one in a couple of minutes. You can't miss your stop, because every stop is announced twice to give you plenty of time and there are clear signs at each stop.  I love this because it means I don't have to constantly check out the window to see where I am. 

Verdict: 5/5


I don't have a Leap Card (I should do that ASAP), but the Luas is still very cheap - I can get a 20 minute journey return for €1.70. Cheaper than the dart, I think, and definitely better value than intercity train tickets.  I'm sure it could be a bit cheaper though. My high rating takes leap card holders into account. 

Verdict: 5/5

Overall verdict: 23/30 : 76.67% : B2

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