Getting Around Town

Dublin is a relatively compact city and it’s easy to walk about (cold and wet weather, or too many pints, notwithstanding).

Like most cities, Dublin is well-equipped with taxis and there are a lot of conveniently-located cab stands. Uber here operates solely as a taxi and car service hailing system (private cars may not pick up riders for money). Fares in town seem to be inexpensive and using Uber still eliminates the exchange of cash for payment. Another difference: the Uber app offers no mechanism for tipping when a ride is completed here.

Dublin’s LUAS Tram

There’s no subway system but there are street-level trams, called LUAS, a transportation mode that I like. They’re quiet, offer nice views of the city, and are powered by overhead electrical lines. The refillable Leap card is used to pay for rides.

Tram system builders have some infrastructure choices, though: trams in cities like Amsterdam put all of the ticketing mechanisms in the tram cars, which means a certain level of expense in the rolling stock.

Top-up machine, left, and tap-on, tap-off sensor, right

Here in Dublin, the fare card top-up machines and tap-on, tap-off senors are on the sidewalk at the stops, not in the cars. This shifts the expense to every tram stop. I think here that translated into fewer stops being build, which is too bad. I’ve often found walking to nearest tram stop to be more than half the distance to where I’m going, so I might as well just walk.

There are also traditional buses here, but they have some strange routes and stop locations, so once again I’ve found walking in many cases is the better choice.

The Airlink Express bus coming in from the airport was something of a surprise: instead of a Greyhound-style tour bus, with cargo bays below and seats above, it was more like a double-decker sightseeing bus. Half of the seats on the lower level were replaced with luggage racks, leaving too few seats and too narrow aisles. That made it difficult for riders with multiple and/or large suitcases (like me) to maneuver. However, the price was right (€7), the ride only took 20 minutes, and I was set down two blocks from my flat.

Private bicycles seem to be popular and there are lots of special racks and lock-down railings provide for them. There are public bicycle rental schemes but they don’t appear to be very widespread, at least I haven’t seen many docking stations for them. One very noticeable bicycle-riding practice: bicyclists here stop and wait at red lights!

I’ve also seen fewer motorcycles, Vespa-type scooters, and e-scooters (Lime, Bird) here than I expected but that could be down to the Winter weather. E-scooters are relatively unregulated here and their numbers are said to be growing.

My verdict: walking, when you can, is the best way to get anywhere. But you already knew that.

2 thoughts on “Getting Around Town

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