Dublin’s train services (Dublin Area Rapid Transit or DART) and buses do little to ease the appalling street congestion. Getting around the centre is best done on foot or bicycle and trips further out should be timed to avoid rush hours. The LUAS light-rail service is efficient, but limited in its coverage.
Bus and LUAS passes should be bought in advance from Dublin Bus or from the many ticket agents around the city (look for signs in shop windows). You can buy rail passes from any DART or suburban train station. Passes available include the following: Adult (Bus & Rail) Short Hop (valid for unlimited one day travel on Dublin Bus, DART, LUAS and suburban rail travel, but not Nitelink or Airlink, Bus/LUAS Pass (unlimited travel on both bus and LUAS), Family Bus & Rail Short Hop (valid for one-day travel for a family of two adults and two children aged under 16 on all bus and rail services except for Nitelink, Airlink, ferry services and tours, and Rambler Pass (valid for unlimited travel on all Dublin Bus and Airlink services, but not Nitelink.
Dublin Bus has buses that are usually either blue and cream double-deckers or small, red and yellow ones called ‘Imps’. They run from 6am to 11.30pm, with services less frequent on Sundays. Dublin’s tourist heart is super-compact, so virtually any bus that lands in the city centre will put you within walking distance of some major sights, restaurants and shops. Buses heading to the centre have ‘An Lár’ (City Centre) on them. Fares are calculated on stages travelled, from €1.15 for up to three stages to €2.20 for up to 23. Tender exact change when boarding; if you pay too much a receipt is issued, which can be reimbursed at the Dublin Bus office.
Dublin Bus also runs Nitelink buses on 22 routes at 12.30am and 2am Monday to Saturday, with extra services every 20 minutes from 12.30am to 4.30am on Friday and Saturday. Buses depart from around the triangle of College St, Westmoreland St and D’Olier St (Map p105 , D4). Journeys begin at €5.
www.irishrail.ie ">Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART) runs along the coast as far north as Howth and Malahide and as far south as Bray. Services depart every 10 to 20 minutes, from 6.30am to midnight, and less frequently on Sunday.
Dublin’s light-rail system (LUAS) runs one line from Sandyford north to St Stephen’s Green and one line from Tallaght east via Heuston Station into Connolly Station. Trains run from 5.30am to 12.30am every 15 minutes and every five minutes during peak times, Monday to Friday, from 6.30am on Saturday and from 7am to 11.30pm on Sunday. Fares range from €1.60 to €2.40 depending on your travel zones or a daily/weekly/ monthly pass is available for €5.30/19.10/76 from the ticket machines, and €5/17.50/67 if bought from a designated newsagent.
In September 2009, Dublin City Council launched Dublin Bikes, a pay-as-you-go bike scheme, similar to the Parisian Vélib system, with 450 bikes at 40 stations spread throughout the city centre. Cyclists will need to purchase a €10 Smart Card (as well as put a credit card deposit of €150) – either online or at any of the stations – before ‘freeing’ a bike for use, which is then free for the first 30 minutes and €0.50 for each half-hour thereafter.
Taxis can be hailed on the street or found at ranks, including those at O’Connell St, College Green and N St Stephen’s Green, near Grafton St.
It can be difficult to get a taxi after pubs close Thursday to Saturday. Many companies dispatch taxis by radio but run out of cars at peak times; be sure to book as early as you can. Try City Cabs (872 7272) or National Radio Cabs (677 2222).
Flag fall between 8am and 10pm is €4.10, then €1.03 for every kilometre thereafter; from 10pm to 8am (and Sundays and bank holidays) flag fall is €4.45 and €1.35 for every kilometre thereafter.