Over 500,000 people everyday use Dublin
Dublin Bus services 93% of Dublin City and County. With over 170 routes operating in
each Dublin community, the bus plays a pivotal part in the lives of Dublin's
1.2 million residents. The company’s aim is to provide a quality service to
Dubliners but just how good is that service.
Taking a bus in Dublin is like an adventure if you travel
everyday. There are many buses you can take and each one has its own special
experience. Take the 75 for instance, you are guaranteed an experience that you
will never forget. You can sometimes meet the most interesting people. You
might get a front row seat when there is a fight. Sometimes the bus breaks down
and you have to wait for at least an hour for another bus to come.
Some of the drivers always seem to be having a bad day,
with faces red as beetroots. They appear to love to make you run for a bus.
Sometimes they will drive slowly at first but when they see you catching up;
they hit the gas and take off like a bat out of hell. A few of them drive up on
the footpath. And it’s great when they row with taxi drivers. It’s like a
battle for king of the road. It’s a fight for moral superiority.
Racism also occurs on Dublin buses. Ireland has become a
multicultural society but a recent survey by the National Consultative
Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) has shown that the vast
majority of racism occurs in public places and on public transport. I remember
once when two Chinese schoolgirls were sitting at the front, upstairs on the
bus. This extremely rough looking character began to insult them because they
were Chinese. Maybe he should have had a long look at himself. The scruffy man
was out of order. Our buses are also becoming more and more uncomfortable to
ride on. Vandalism is out of control and drivers are afraid of potentially
dangerous routes such as that of Tallaght where reports have been made where
drivers have refused to drive to some parts at night. So what does this say for
our public bus service?
I remember the slogan, “Dublin bus changing with the city”
it should be Dublin Bus “shaming the city”. What about the 46A. It’s like their favourite route. All the
new buses are put on this route. It comes much more regularly. Why do they
treasure a route from City Centre to Dun Laoghaire when there is already a DART
service available? With the introduction of the Luas, Dublin Bus has starved
the Ballinteer area of its buses.
Almost all 48A buses were cancelled and the
disgraceful services of the 14 and 14A were expanded to cover this area.
However, the numbers of buses on this route were also reduced so Ballinteer has
been left with a service that only comes once in a blue moon. Every morning
around eight o’clock, most routes have at least four buses within the hour.
However this is not the case in Ballinteer. There would be one or two buses and
if you miss them you are in trouble. You always know when you have missed the
bus as the bus stop is like a ghost town, although we cannot blame Dublin Bus
There was a discussion on Joe
Duffy recently regarding bus drivers leaving before their due time. I have
experienced this myself. Just the other day I timed a bus to go into town. As I
live at the top of the road, I believed I had time as the bus departs from the
bottom of the road. It was due to leave the terminus at 20 past the hour. I
came out at 18 minutes past the hour and low and behold the bus was already at
my bus stop and I had to run for it. This should not be allowed. The drivers
must think that they can save time by leaving early when really they will be
just in traffic for the next hour.
The price of bus
fares has risen significantly over the past few years. However, they are still
cheap compared to cars, trains and taxis. The fares do increase at least every
two years. If this continues it will eventuallystop people traveling by bus,
as they simply cannot afford it. These increases in prices are most likely due
to great competition that now faces Dublin Bus. The Luas has already taken so
much business away from Dublin Bus. But surely increasing the fares is not the