The Luton DART has welcomed its one millionth passenger on board, just 147 days after opening. The landmark passenger was Wouter Ruffen, originally from the Netherlands, who has been backpacking around Europe, and was en-route to a flight from London Luton to Amsterdam on Monday (21 August).
He had bought a contactless ticket to the airport from London St Pancras International which included the Luton DART connection at Luton Airport Parkway station.
Wouter said it was straightforward navigating the trains and tapping at the gates, and has now won free travel on the Luton DART for a year.
The automated 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.
The 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.
Councillor Javeria Hussain, Chair of Luton Rising, the Luton Council-owned company that owns the airport for community benefit, and built the Luton DART to significantly improve the passenger experience, said: “London Luton Airport is now operating at close to the passenger levels seen before the pandemic so it’s no surprise to see the Luton DART performing so well.”
Managing Director Nick Platts added: “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.”
“Already our passengers have saved themselves a combined total of around 20 years’ worth of travel time, and it is very pleasing that the service is running at 99.8 per cent reliability.
“More than that, 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.”