Luton DART carries 2.7m passengers in its first year

The Luton DART is celebrating its first full year of operation today with news that it has carried 2,721,695 passengers and exceeded its targets to date.

Since beginning services on 27 March 2023, more than 2,443 residents of Luton have registered for the half-price travel they are entitled to, making 5,822 journeys.

In addition, 5,651 Older Person Bus Pass Holders and Disability Badge Holders have registered for the free travel they can get, making 19,538 journeys.

Meanwhile, 5,906 airport staff have also registered to access their free journeys. This is arranged through eligible companies’ HR departments.

Paul Kehoe CBE Chair of Luton Rising Board, said: “The Luton DART has already proved a huge hit with passengers and is encouraging more and more travellers to get to and from our airport by train wherever possible, reducing the impact of car journeys on our roads.

“Every passenger using London Luton Airport and the Luton DART means more support for 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.”

The Luton DART is an innovative cable-hauled fast passenger transit system connecting Luton Airport Parkway mainline railway station with the London Luton Airport terminal in under four minutes.

Constructed and operated for Luton Council’s airport company, Luton Rising, by Doppelmayr Cable Car and a Volker Fitzpatrick-Kier joint venture, it replaces the former bus transfer service and delivers a significant better passenger experience to the airport.

The Luton DART’s first birthday was marked with a showstopping performance for passengers at Luton DART Parkway station and on the shuttles by the fabulous Vauxhall Male Choir.  

Alberto Martin, CEO of London Luton Airport, said: “The DART underlines the way in which London Luton Airport and Luton Rising are working together to drive more sustainable travel to and from the airport.

“Alongside the DART, last year’s launch of the Luton Airport Express means that LLA has never been closer to central London, with a faster, more frequent and more convenient service that now takes around 30 minutes door-to-door.

“The DART is playing a hugely important role in transforming LLA’s connectivity, making the end-to-end passenger experience from train to plane even more simple, friendly and convenient.”

Markus Schrentewein, Director of Doppelmayr Cable Car UK Ltd, said: “We´re grateful for this incredible journey we´ve been on together with Luton Rising and all other stakeholders involved from the beginning. This journey has now brought us to the point where we can look back on a successful full year of operation of the Luton DART!

“We´re proud to contribute to the flourishing of the area and to support the local community and to provide thousands of passengers every day with an exceptional driving experience in our state-of-the-art system.

“Lastly, we´d like to give credits and a massive shoutout to all teams involved with the DART, who, through their relentless commitment and dedication, are playing a key role in making it all possible. We´re ready to reach the next milestones together.“

Over the year, the Luton DART has achieved 16.2% modal share for passengers accessing the airport, peaking at 21.6% for week commencing 5 November. This represented an 18% increase on the previous bus transfer service for the same week a year earlier.

Despite ongoing rail strikes, over the last three months the Luton DART has averaged 17.2% modal share, which is above target.

Service reliability has exceeded 99 per cent, with no significant downtime other than for safety reasons following the airport car park fire.

The Luton DART service is rated ‘excellent’ under independent Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys.

Meanwhile, DART tickets are now eligible for rail card and Groupsave discounts, the latter saving one-third off the normal price when three or more people travel together, offering further improved value.

The Luton DART achieved its one millionth passenger in August 2023, just 147 days after opening, and its two millionth passenger over Christmas.

Concessionary fare registrations can be made with proof of entitlement at All residents of the borough need to do is provide proof of address when they register, and they receive 50 per cent off all DART tickets bought via the Luton DART website.

Contact Information

Luton Council Press Office
Follow us @lutoncouncil
01582 547402 (including out of hours)