Dublin Bus wants to adjust routes and timetables for their bus services in Dun Laoghaire, Sallynoggin and Loughlinstown.
The changes would affect routes: 7, 7b, 7d, 45a, 63 and 59.
Routes 8 and 111 would be cancelled.
The proposed changes are in this document: Dunlaoghaire Sallynoggin and Loughlinstown Bus Review 2015
Who would lose out?
- McIntosh Park and Killiney village will lose the 59 service to Dalkey / Dun Laoghaire.
- Loughlinstown Park loses the 111 service to Dun Laoghaire and loses a third of its services on route 7.
- Residents of Sallynoggin will have to trek over to the Sally Glen Road to catch a 7 into town (the 45A will go through Sallynoggin to get people into Dun Laoghaire)
- Clonkeen Rd and Deansgrange lose the 63
- Residents of Maretimo in Blackrock village will have to walk to the bypass to catch a bus into town.
- Dalkey loses the 8 (which mostly follows the DART line)
- Johnstown Road, Johnstown Court, Oakdale Drive and Granitefield lose the 59
- McIntosh Park and Pottery Road get the 63
- Hillcourt estate and Avondale Road get the 7 on Sally Glen Road
- Barclay Court gets the 7 on Frascati Road
- Cherrywood’s service increases from 1 bus to 2 buses per hour.
- Loughlinstown Hospital, Shankill village and Churchview Road will get a half-hourly 59 service to Dalkey and Dún Laoghaire
- Shorter routes should mean faster journey times.
Why is Dublin Bus changing these routes?
Dublin Bus has lost nearly a third of its government funding in the past seven years. Fares have risen to make up the shortfall. The company is under pressure to cut unpopular services and reallocate buses to more popular routes. These changes are a continuation of the “Network Direct” exercise in 2012 when bus routes were straightened out or curtailed.
This is only half the story. Dublin Bus also receives replacement buses from the state and a grant to cover the free travel scheme. In 2013, these additional payments were worth €49m to Dublin Bus.
Dublin Bus is not in dire straits. Their passenger numbers are increasing, they have little debt and they even made a €10m profit last year. So these are not cuts of necessity.
Is this a good thing?
Straightening routes is a good thing because it speeds up journey times but there are other ways to improve the service and attract more passengers. Areas with older residents that depend on local bus routes should not be left without a service.
When the DART service began in 1984, CIE promised feeder routes that would take people from the inland suburbs to the coast to board the shiny train. For the past 30 years those services have been abysmal and often pointless due to low frequencies and unreliability to the point of randomness. Real time passenger information has definitely helped to deal with the stress of waiting forlornly at a stop wondering if the bus will ever come. However the NTA should now be enforcing predictable services that meet the timetable – particularly outside of rush hours when the traffic jam excuse does not apply.
A major deterrent to using the bus service is the risk of being let down and Dublin Bus needs to win back trust to win back passengers.
Dwell times are too long because the drivers are still required to collect fares and scan leap cards. More delays happen because the drivers do not consistently open the centre doors.
The stage fare system is too complicated for anyone to follow. It needs to be replaced with a simple zonal system that passengers and staff can understand.
Fattening the pig for privatisation?
It may be that these routes are being changed to allow them to be bundled up and offered to a private operator.
What happens now?
The decision about route changes is made by Dublin Bus and the National Transport Authority. Both of these organisations answer to the minister for Transport, Paschal Donohue. A public consultation is likely to be held before a decision is made. Local councillors are briefed by Dublin Bus and may make submission to Dublin Bus and the NTA but they ultimately have no decision making power in the process. A special meeting of Dún Laoghaire’s council area committee has been called for Thursday 23rd July to discuss these plans. Dublin Bus has been asked to attend.
What do you think?
Write in a comment below and tell Dublin Bus what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dublin Bus will hold an open information day in Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre on Friday 31 July 2015 between 1200 and 1600 hours.
I wrote to he NTA to ask them about their involvement in these changes. Their response is here: