Bus Éireann service woes continue

Bus Éireann services connecting East Meath towns to Dublin are still facing major disruptions causing headaches for commuters in the area.

Bus routes 103, 111 and 109, which cater to those in Ratoath, Athboy, Dunshaughlin and Navan, are scheduled to run every twenty minutes. However, this hasn’t been the case for almost a month now with Bus Éireann blaming high absenteeism rates among drivers for the problem. Unions representing drivers have said however, that there simply aren’t enough drivers to cover the routes.

Locals, who use this service to get to work, school and college have been inconvenienced on several occasions due to buses not arriving on time or, in some cases, not arriving at all. Some bus schedules were also cancelled abruptly for an indefinite period of time.

This issue was raised in the Dáil on the 4th October by Thomas Byrne TD.  Speaking on the issue, Byrne said: “Perhaps we need to ask Dublin Bus to do some of the routes particularly close to Dublin because there are huge difficulties at the moment. People are being left stranded, particularly students who cannot use the private bus services at certain times of the day.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar responded saying “as it is an industrial relations matter, it is a matter between the unions and the company”.

Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty TD met with CEO of Bus Éireann, Ray Hernan, in late September to also address the matters at hand.

“We discussed the decline in service that many bus users in Meath have been experiencing. I will be in regular contact with Ray about this,” said Doherty.

Doherty also posted on her Facebook page asking bus users to report late or no show buses in the comment section, to which she has received an overwhelming response with 200 complaints since the 29th September.

A community meeting, organised by local Peace Commissioner Andrew Ralph, will take place in Ratoath on 12th October at 8pm, in hopes to gather a detailed record of all passenger problems to present to the National Transport Authority (NTA).

By Megan Walsh


City commuters reach deep into pockets to pay increased transport fares

By: Aidan Knowles

Photo courtesy: Flickr/Steve A

AFTER SATURDAY, 1st December 2012 – cash and leap card fares for Dublin Bus, Luas, Iarnród Éireann and Bus Éireann services will increase.

Prepaid tickets prices will also increase, but this change will not come into affect until early 2013.

The move, approved by the National Transport Authority, was made due to Ireland’s “difficult economic circumstances” and increasing fuel costs – despite cost cutting measures in the industry.

For Dublin Bus, the last fare increases were introduced in January 2012.

What does this mean for the city’s commuters?

Cash paying commuters are the worst affected by the increase. While those using Leap Card and prepaid tickets will still suffer price increases, these options still offer better value over cash fares.

On Dublin bus – the new price adjustment will see cash fares increase by an average of 11%. Meanwhile, leap card fares will be increased by an average of 7%.

For example, a cash paying adult travelling 8 to 13 stages on Dublin Bus previously had to pay €2.15. After December 1st 2012, this same journey will now cost €2.40.

Dubliners availing of the Dublin Bus’  ‘City Fare’ to get around the capital are also affected – with their cash paying fare increasing from €0.60 to €0.65 cent.

How do these new fares compare with nearby European capitals?

Across the pond – London’s bus service charges passengers a flat cash fee of £2.30, or at a discounted fare of £1.35 if using the Oyster Card (similar to Dublin’s Leap Card).

Meanwhile in Paris, the French pay a flat fee of €1.70 per bus journey.

Further South, commuters in Madrid pay a flat cash fare of €1.50 per bus journey.

What adult passengers paid Dublin Bus before the fare increase
What adult passengers are paying Dublin Bus after the fare increase