UCD results show Sustainable Commuting Programme works – Donohoe

26th January, 2015

75% of UCD students & staff walk, cycle or use public transport to get to Belfield


Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD; Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority (NTA); and Professor Andrew Deeks, President of UCD today (Monday) met to mark the successes of UCD’s Smarter Travel Campus Programme.


Since 2011, the NTA, UCD and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council have been working closely together in order to increase the take-up of sustainable transport options amongst the 29,000 students and staff who commute to UCD daily.


Over that period, the proportion of students travelling by bus has increased from 34% to 39%, the proportion cycling has increased from 17% to 21% and the proportion travelling by car has reduced from 26% to 21%.  Between 2004 and 2014, the proportion of staff using the car to get to and from UCD fell from 66% to 48%.


Measures introduced to support the Programme include:

  • New hourly 142 bus service between UCD and Rathmines
  • New shuttle bus service between the UCD campus and DART at Sydney Parade
  • New bus-gate on-campus generating significant time-savings on 17 Bus route and allowing bus and cycle movement between Foster’s Avenue and Stillorgan Road
  • 800 new cycle parking stands
  • Construction of UCD to Windy Arbour Luas cycle route
  • Real-Time public transport signage – installed outside the UCD library, at the Stillorgan Road entrance and at the main on-campus bus terminus
  • Facility to buy Adult and Student Leap Cards on-campus – delivering substantial savings
  • Maps – public transport routes, travel-options for students, pedestrian and cycle journey time maps
  • Restrictions on amount of car parking spaces on campus


Welcoming these changes in behaviour, Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe TD said: ‘If we want to encourage people to use public transport, we have to make it as attractive and easy for them as possible. Initiatives like the Smarter Travel Campus programme in UCD aim to raise awareness, among students and staff, about the public transport options available to and from UCD, with the ultimate goal of increasing the numbers who walk, cycle or take the bus/Luas/DART to the campus and reducing the numbers taking the car’.


“Practical information in respect of the provision of showers and lockers, ensuring that adequate bicycle parking is available and communicating when the next bus is due allow people to manage their time better, which for students, in particular, is very important. I was pleased to learn that 75% of UCD students and staff either walk, cycle or use public transport to get to Belfield and I’ve no doubt that as this programme is further developed, we can further build on those numbers in to the future.”


Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Authority said: ‘UCD Belfield is the largest campus in Ireland. Getting travel planning right in UCD not only benefits traffic flows in South Dublin, but it also builds a habit of walking or cycling or choosing public transport amongst tens of thousands of young people, at a key point in their lives –  a habit which we hope will guide travel and commuting choices in their later lives.   Our Smarter Travel team and our expert planners have been working closely with UCD personnel and staff from the local authority to put plans and measures in place.  Together, we have built up a healthy momentum.  Behavioural change like this is always slow, but it is very gratifying to see the figures moving so firmly in the right direction. Of course, improvements in the wider public transport offering – Real Time Passenger Information, Journey Planning Apps, new fleet vehicles, on-board Wi-Fi etc, all play their role in further enhancing the positive impacts of the specific measures introduced for UCD’.


Professor Andrew Deeks, UCD President said: ‘As a university community we are committed to promoting and encouraging sustainable transport and I am pleased to see the progress achieved to date through working in partnership. We welcome the introduction of bus corridors and the changes to bus routes that follow demographic changes, and encourage the early delivery of mass-transit systems serving the campus, such as the proposed Blanchardstown to UCD Swiftway which is essential if we are to continue to change the commuting habits of students and staff to more sustainable options’.