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Press releases

Luton DART passengers saving years of journey time

Luton Rising

3 min read Partner content

More than 650,000 passengers have already saved themselves more than ten years of total journey time during the first 100 days of operation of the Luton DART.

The Direct Air-Rail Transit system, which seamlessly whisks travellers between Luton Airport Parkway Station and the airport terminal in under four minutes, opened on 27 March and reached its 100-day milestone yesterday (July 5).

Serving travellers who have arrived from more than 129 different stations on the national rail network, the busiest day on the Luton DART saw it carry more than 10,000 passengers and handle more than 18 per cent of all air passengers using the airport.

“We are very pleased with the Luton DART’s early performance which is matching the ongoing post-pandemic recovery in passenger numbers seen at our airport,” said Councillor Javeria Hussain, Chair of Luton Rising, the Luton Council-owned company that owns the airport and built the Luton DART to significantly improve the passenger experience.

“More than 740 passenger surveys have been completed, which alongside more than 1,100 customer comments consistently report the experience provided as great. The service has achieved 99.8 per cent reliability.

“Even with ongoing rail strikes, which are keeping a lid on the rail sector and the number of passengers who can use the DART, we can see the benefits that customers are receiving in terms convenience, ease of travel and reduced journey times compared with the previous bus transfer service. We know there is more to come as we enter the peak holiday season.”

Figures reported by Luton Rising today also confirm:

  • More than 2,600 travellers have signed up for the free concessionary travel that is available to Older Person Bus Pass and Disability Badge holders
  • More than 1,300 people have registered for the half-price fares available to Luton residents, making more than 1,400 journeys on the Luton DART
  • More than 4,000 commuting airport workers have completed more than 32,000 free journeys.
  • Since opening, each of the two Luton DART shuttles has travelled 36,000km, more than an entire circumference of the earth, and carried passengers uphill a distance of exceeding 11,000km, equivalent to over 1,000 times the height of Everest.
  • 1,500 plants and shrubs have been planted, 3,000 sq m of land beneath the guideway has been seeded with calcareous grassland seeds to encourage wildlife, and ten insect hotels installed. More than 4.6 tonnes of waste has been recycled.

Nick Platts, Luton Rising Managing Director, said: “The newly-launched Luton DART enables a total journey time from the capital of just 32 minutes when passengers combine it with the Luton Airport Express fast train service out of London St Pancras.

“Every passenger using London Luton Airport and the Luton DART means more support for frontline services in Luton and vulnerable people in particular who most need the help we fund through our unique £7.4m annual contribution to local voluntary, community and charitable organisations.”

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