Friday 9 December 2016

Video - Bus strike: 'I get the reasons behind the strike, but in exam season it's just cruel'

Independent.ie asked affected commuters to share their feelings on the industrial action taken by drivers at Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus

Published 01/05/2015 | 11:41

The first day of the 48-hour bus strike has left hundreds of thousands of commuters stranded and seeking alternative modes of transport this morning.

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Bus drivers at Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann are 'downing tools' today and tomorrow in an on-going dispute over the privatisation of routes.

As major traffic disruption hit nationwide this morning, independent.ie took to the streets to find out what you really thought about the industrial action.

One nurse who has just returned to Ireland from abroad, having left to "get a decent job", voiced her support for the bus drivers.

Read more: Bus strike: Commuting to work? Here's what to do

"Enough people have suffered over the last number of years with everything that has gone on in the country," she said

"I think definitely, if they are at risk of losing their jobs, they should stick up for themselves."

Her sentiments were echoed by another commuter, even though he had to "get up a bit earlier" and the "traffic was quite hectic".

"I think people are entitled to strike if they are trying to make a point or put a point across so I would agree with them," he said. 

And although another male city worker said that the bus service "is a loss-making one for the Government", he told independent.ie that he "could see where they are coming from".

Bus strike: Do you think Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus drivers are right to take action?

"They don't want the privatisation of routes and they want to ensure their jobs are safe," he said.

One Kells-based worker even stated that using an alternative method of  transport this morning actually helped him get to work quicker.

"I usually get a bus in from Kells, leaving at 7am. I actually got in quicker than I normally would!"

Not everyone affected by the bus strikes this morning felt as favourable towards the bus drivers, however.

Read more: Furious commuters vent on Twitter over #BusStrike

Many students reported that the travel chaos added unnecessary stress to an already worrying exam day.

Final year genetics student at UCC Stephanie O'Donovan told independent.ie that she is "smack bang in the middle of my exams".

"Things are stressful enough right now without having to reorganise transport to college. I don't drive, so I entirely rely on public transport, as both my parents work full time.

"I get the reasons behind the strike, but in exam season it's just cruel," she said.

Niamh O'Leary travels every day from Wexford to Waterford to attend college and her exams started this morning.

"Us students are paying enough and the days we need public transport more, they decide to have a bus strike," she said.

"It's not fair on the students -  it's a disgrace to be honest, hopefully it won't continue."

Meanwhile some commuters simply took the opportunity to enjoy the slightly warmer weather on their way in to work.

"This morning was basically a perfect cycle - it was so different from how it usually is," Christine Bohan told independent.ie

"Getting to my office in town involves navigating some of the worst streets in the city for cyclists (particularly D'Olier Street/College Green). It's dangerous and it can be scary. But today there were no buses to navigate around or share the left-hand lane with."

"Usually I'd have to be looking out for anywhere between forty and fifty buses as we compete for space on the roads. I could get used to it, to be honest...

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