Monday 21 October 2019

Full buses leave 84X passengers stranded in city

Calls for Dublin Bus to increase service or police its use

Mary Fogarty

Calls have been made for an improved 84X service, as the bus from Dublin to Newcastle is often full before leaving the city centre.

Afric Bolger from Delgany travels on the service each weekday evening.

'There are not enough 84X buses to serve the greater community of Greystones, Kilcoole and Newcastle,' she said.

'I am lucky enough, I can get on at St Stephen's Green and get the whole way home. Once it comes to Leeson Street it's standing room only and by the time it gets to the Burlington it's full.'

She said that the bus doesn't stop to let passengers on after that and drives past crowds of waiting students at the UCD stop.

There is one evening 84X at 4.45 p.m. during term time which leaves from Donnybrook to accommodate students.

'A few weeks ago I started counting people getting off at Stillorgan, Stillorgan Park and Cornelscourt,' said Afric. 'Around 40 people got off between those stops.'

She said that those passengers do not need the 84X, as they could have travelled on one of the frequent 46A or 145 services travelling that route.

The 84X runs from Dublin nine times between midday and 6.30 p.m. and does not travel through Shankill or Bray. Three of those journeys go as far as Newcastle with the remainder terminating in Kilcoole.

'A lot of people don't have the option of using the Dart,' said Afric. The Dart terminates in Greystones. The park and ride there is full before 8 a.m. in the morning. The cap is lower on the Leap card for bus only as opposed to Dart, or a mixture of bus and train. Even one Dart journey would cost a student an extra €7 or an adult passenger an extra €10 per week.

TAfric said that the populations in the areas served by the 84X are growing. 'At the moment, the bus is full when leaving Greystones, so at capacity as it is,' she said.

'Something needs to be done about it. It's not fair. And there are thousands more houses to be built with no talk of upgrading the services. I would love officials from Dublin Bus to stand on the buses just to see what it's like, and do a survey with the customers to ask where they are travelling to.'

Cllr Jennifer Whitmore said that the issue is a recurring one. 'Every year in September, when the universities and schools go back, there is commuter outcry about overcrowding and insufficient service on the 84 service. The current situation sees the buses filling up with passengers in the city centre, many of whom then alight a couple of stops past UCD. This leaves students stranded in UCD, unable to get home to Wicklow. It is not good enough that the 84 buses from town fill up with people who have a range of bus services available to them. Dublin Bus should either put on more peak-time buses, including a UCD-Greystones/Kilcoole one, or ensure that those that use the 84 will use the bus for the entirety of the journey.

'I find it very frustrating that each year this problem has to be raised with them and that they have not yet been proactive in resolving it. Wcannot wait for BusConnects to be finalised and implemented.'

Dublin Bus said that they operate six service during the evening peak. 'We are aware of increased customer demand on Route 84x and have introduced a further 3 departures to help meet this demand,' they said in a statement. 'These departures operate from UCD at 16.45, Donnybrook Church at 17.00 and Hawkins Street at 17.50. We monitor the performance of our services on an on-going basis and will keep Route 84x under review.'

Bray People