Saturday 20 January 2018

Bus Eireann figures stand corrected but issues persist

There is a growing market for bus travel in Ireland, with independent operators set to benefit

'The most recent figure for fleet size in Bus Eireann is the company's own figure of 1,170, as supplied by its press office in correspondence with this newspaper. This implies a current staffing level of 2.1 staff per bus'
'The most recent figure for fleet size in Bus Eireann is the company's own figure of 1,170, as supplied by its press office in correspondence with this newspaper. This implies a current staffing level of 2.1 staff per bus'

Sean Barrett

Two weeks ago on these pages, I presented data from the National Transport Authority on the routes and fleet numbers of the independent bus operators and their carriage of free-travel passengers. I also cited evidence of their services off the motorways and in rural areas largely without subsidy and noted the lack of regulatory evidence that the sector included rogue operators.

In contrast to Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann does not publish its fleet size in its annual report. Independent research on productivity at Bus Eireann, therefore, relies on other sources of published data. The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS), the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service have, however, published Bus Eireann's fleet data.

'Transport Trends', a joint publication of the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service and the DTTAS (April 2016), reports that "based on other NTA data, there were 2,597 buses providing services in 2014" and 453 of these were Bus Eireann. That number was included in my article here two weeks ago. Bus Eireann staffing per the "buses providing services" measure is 3.1 times that of its independent competitors.

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