Thursday 23 January 2020

UK firm get green light to run 10pc of Dublin Bus routes

Stock picture
Stock picture

Paul Melia

UK firm Go-Ahead is to run 24 Dublin Bus routes, beginning in November next year.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) awarded the contract to what it described as “one of the largest bus operators in London” following a competitive tendering process.

The firm will operate nine orbital routes, and 15 local routes. It already operates regional bus services in the UK, buses on behalf of Transport for London and three rail franchises.

NTA chief executive Anne Graham said the move was designed to improve services.

“This is ultimately about improving bus services for Dublin and the NTA is confident that passengers will benefit from this decision,” she said.

“It has also been the experience internationally that introducing some level of competitive tendering into PSO services like this, usually results in a better deal for passengers and for the public in general.

“Under the provisions of the tender, not only will service levels on the routes in question be maintained, they will actually be increased by about 35pc. So passengers in areas served by these routes have no absolutely reason to worry about this change. Matters such as fares, frequency and scheduling for the service will all be set by the NTA, and not the operator.

There will be no change for passengers, although the new fleet may have a different livery. The NTA will retain control of fares, services and the fleet. The NTA said the contract was akin to that operated for Luas services, where the State owns the infrastructure and a private company operates services.

In some cases, service levels on some routes will be increased. The NTA also plans to re-introduce single-deck buses on some routes.

As Dublin Bus withdraws from the routes, additional services will be provided on the remaining services it provides.

“Ultimately, over the next two years, bus customers in Dublin are going to see a large increase in the number and range of services,” Ms Graham added.

The affected routes are the 17, 17a, 18, 75, 76, 76a, 102, 104, 175, 33a, 33b, 45a, 59, 63, 111, 114, 161, 184, 185, 220, 236, 238, 239 and the 270.

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