Call for bus service providers to take responsibility for cases of ‘disappearing’ busesPadraig Conlon 09 Sep 2022
A recent surge in cases of ‘disappearing’ buses must be dealt with by public transport providers, including Dublin Bus and GoAhead Ireland, said a Fine Gael Senator.
Dublin Fingal Senator Regina Doherty said that regular users of public transport in the Dublin area are experiencing buses disappearing from the Real Time Information screens and failing to show up at scheduled times.
“Sometimes, the buses just never arrive, and occasionally, the Transport for Ireland (TFI) app will show a ‘trip cancelled’ notice without any reason given,” Senator Doherty said.
“This is just not good enough for people who depend on particular bus services, many of whom live in my own constituency of Dublin Fingal. Whether they’re going to work, school, or college, they deserve bus services that function properly.
“There are a number of towns in North County Dublin that are served by GoAhead Ireland services, and in some cases, these are the only buses serving certain towns or villages.
“The 33a provides a crucial link between Swords and Skerries, although it mirrors Dublin Bus route 33.
“The 102 is currently the only service linking Malahide to the Airport and Swords. The 33b is perhaps the route most affected by cancellations as it is solely serving Donabate and Portrane.
“GoAhead Ireland took over all three of these routes back in 2018.
“At the time, commuters were promised, and I quote, ‘immediate improvements in frequency and service levels’. This has not been the reality, and I see that as a serious problem.
“I wish it were as easy as suggesting that the services operated by GoAhead be switched back to Dublin Bus, but I’m not convinced that would solve the problem.
“Dublin Bus has improved in terms of frequency but similar problems most certainly exist. I have received complaints about 41, 41c and 33 services being cancelled at short notice. If someone living in Swords relies on the bus to get them into town – which so many do due the absence of rail or MetroLink – they would have to put up with being at least fifteen minutes to half-an-hour late due to their bus disappearing.
“I understand that some bus service providers are currently understaffed in terms of drivers and Covid intensified this problem. I appreciate that Dublin Bus is running a major recruitment campaign, but we are hearing next to nothing from GoAhead.
“All bus service providers in the Dublin area must acknowledge the causes of these cancellations and set targets to urgently improve frequency of services. It is not acceptable that commuters are repeatedly left stranded without so much as an explanation”, concluded Senator Doherty.