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commuters

Commuters are being encouraged to add walking to their daily commute.

The National Transport Authority and Healthy Ireland are launching a new pilot campaign today to help commuters achieve a healthier lifestyle.

The campaign is a first step in taking a more joined-up approach across Health and Transport, linking health and sustainable travel policy together for the benefit of the commuters. The pilot will be assessing what it is that will motivate commuters to introduce more physical activity into their daily routines.

By getting off a stop early or walking to a further stop while taking the bus, Luas, or train, commuters can add a ten-minute walk to their morning or evening routes. The short-term benefits are potentially reduced stress levels, a boost in energy, and improved concentration and mood.

Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said: “I’m delighted to support this initiative. Small changes can make a big difference and making a small change in our daily commute can help us all to achieve a healthier lifestyle.”

Minister Simon Harris TD, added “The health benefits of walking are well-known and weaving a walk into your daily commute is the best way to make a habit of it and to make sure you’re fitting in your daily 30 minute recommendation. I encourage everyone to try to get on or off one stop earlier.

“I would like to acknowledge former Irish Heart Foundation CEO, Paddy Murphy and to thank him for initially bringing this idea to my attention. Paddy has long been an advocate for promoting healthier lives and initiated the well-known Sli na Slainte walks and we look forward to assessing the progression of this concept.”

Increasing physical activity can seem like a daunting task, especially in the colder months, but when you’re already out and on the way to work or college, it’s easier than you think to make small changes to established routines.

The pilot campaign will be found on transport advertising carried on bus, train and Luas routes throughout the greater Dublin area from November 3 to 16. The feedback from the pilot will inform further campaign activity.

More information can be found on Transport for Ireland’s website here.

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Commuters will be faced with a change in fares come 2017, with it going up for some and down for others.

This afternoon, The National Transport Authority announced that fares for Luas, Irish Rail, Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann will be restructured, and commuters will now pay for the distance they travel.

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For some it's a win, and for others it's a loss, but the NTA has said that fares will remain the same for the majority of passengers.

For example, an adult single Dart trip from Raheny to Bray currently costs €3.56 if you pay by Leap card, and €4.60 in cash. This will increases to a Leap card fare of €4.69 and a cash fare of €5.90.

However, an adult single Dart trip from Bayside to Clontarf Road currently costs €2.46 with a Leap card, and €3.25 with cash. In 2017, it will decrease to €1.73 on the Leap card and €2.20 in cash.

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The NTA said: “This year’s fare determination has taken the opportunity to adjust fares to move closer to achieving the authority’s fares policy such as discount of approximately 30pc for students, and 50pc for children.

“It is also the view of the authority that annual fares should be approximately equivalent to ten times a monthly fare.”

Will this change be better or worse for you?

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If you were bracing yourself for a nightmare commute to work through Dublin city on Tuesday next, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Planned strike action on March 8th has officially been called off, according to reports just now.

Although further strikes – on St Patrick's Day, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday – may go ahead, Tuesday's strike was called off to allow both sides of the current dispute to speak at the Workplace Relations Commission.

Luas drivers are currently fighting for a 53% pay rise, although SIPTU spokesman Eoin Reidy said last week that they were willing to reconsider their demands.

"We've always said that that's an opening position, we've always said we're prepared to negotiate, we've always said we're prepared to moderate that and compromise," he told the WRC.

SIPTU has also acknowledged that if drivers do strike during Easter weekend it will be "tragic," not least because of the many 1916 Rising commemorations planned for those days.

Transport Minister Pascal Donohue seems hopeful that the planned talks next week could result in a resolution to the pay dispute.

"I sincerely hope that this signals an intention to resolve the matter so that regular services, without interruption, can be resumed", he added.

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Just when you thought it was safe to go to work again… you realise that the trains won't be running tomorrow morning.

Yup, a total of 41 Dart services, 45 Dublin Commuter services, 30 Cork Commuter services, and 42 Intercity/regional services will in all likelihood be cancelled (unless last-minute crises talks prove successful). Gulp!

Taking place from 6am to 9am as a result of industrial action by drivers, it's sure to cause commuters – to say the least – plenty of Friday mayhem. 

Trains that leave before the planned strike at 6am will continue to travel as normal, Irish Rail has confirmed. 

During a similar strike held last month, disgruntled passengers may remember that Hailo had one of its busiest mornings ever as thousands sought out alternative ways to get to work and college.

Today, the taxi company was encouraging anyone hitting the road before 9am tomorrow to plan their journey carefully.

From 7am to 10am it's also offering a helpful 20 percent off journeys – an incentive which proved hugely popular last time.

"The 20 percent discount codes will be displayed on our Facebook and Twitter profiles as soon as they are live," it added in a statement.

In addition, Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Luas tram services will all be operating normally – albeit at full capacity so make sure to allow extra time for our trip.

More information is also available at irishrail.ie.

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