Bus unions conspire against passengers
The only conclusion one can come to over the bank holiday bus strike is that bus workers think we owe them a living and that the bus companies are there to serve the workers not the customers.
Last Tuesday, Transport Minister for Transport Mr Paschal Donohoe gave an assurance to bus workers that none of them – not a single worker in this State-subsidised company – will lose their jobs as a result of the policy adopted by the National Transport Authority to privatise 10pc of bus routes over the coming years.
For years, various companies operating under the umbrella of the State transport service, CIE, were protected from market realities by State subsidies and a government department which looked after their interests and kept more efficient private operators out of any lucrative routes. They also actively used subsidised pricing structures to make real competition impossible, and when someone else had a good idea they stole it and undercut the private sector. Thankfully, that monopoly has been broken up, and although Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Iarnód Éireann are all State companies, they have begun to adapt to commercial realities. Although services could be improved, they are infinitely better than they were ten or twenty years ago.