The LUAS: Dublin’s answer to the London tube. And just like the tube it travels at speeds up to 90 kilometres per hour, covers all areas of the city and is known for its punctuality. LOL JK. It’s got none of those things!
I’ve been a critic of the LUAS from the very beginning. I remember taking a leisurely journey on the tram on its first day of operation in 2004. And good thing it was a leisure journey too, because had I needed to reach my destination on time, I would have been somewhat peeved; it took an hour to reach Sandyford from Stephen’s Green!
I recollect my 13 –year-old self, remarking just how slow the whole experience was, and for a transport system whose name translates to ‘fast’ in English, I had the creeping feeling that the then Fianna Fáil government must have been having a great laugh at the Irish people with a name like that. Lord knows they never had to use the snail-paced tram; they were too busy being ferried around in big f**k-off ‘Beemers’ and blacked-out ‘Mercs’.
I also find it highly amusing that the government at the time turned down a Japanese company who offered to build an underground metro system for free, in exchange the company would operate the underground for thirty years, at which time it would give the system to the state free of charge. Sounds pretty good I know, but instead, the bunch of ass-clowns in the Dáil decided to opt for the less logical option: a tram system that, instead of running underground, takes up valuable road space, space that is already highly congested by buses, taxis and cars. Dublin never got an underground and best of all, the caverns and tunnels that once ran under this fair city, were duly filled in during LUAS works.
And so we’ve put up with the LUAS, we settled for it and defended it, arguing upon its completion that it was ‘really useful’ and ‘a great little thing’ whenever critics would highlight the fact that it didn’t connect or had to sluggishly manoeuvre through the city. Like many things in Ireland, we resigned ourselves to it and eventually accepted the fact that Dublin would never get the transport system it so desperately needs.
And then, after having stayed diligently quiet during the recession, LUAS drivers have chosen now as their time to strike. And I say let them, let them strike away to their hearts content.
Just one thing; on the off chance that you happen to find yourself on the LUAS on a day when the drivers aren’t striking, I urge all LUAS passengers not to pay for the LUAS. Think about it people. Are you sick of overpaying for public transport tickets? Tickets whose prices rise year-on-year without fail and without any discernible improvement to the service.
If they can strike at will, so should the customers. Silently strike by not paying for this public transport system that doesn’t require that you pay in order to board it!
If everyone does it, they can’t punish everyone, can they?
I couldn’t care less about the strike. It’s the LUAS itself I have the problem with.