Busman’s Holiday

Dublin Bus Out of Service

It was inevitable, once the government decided to cut the public transport state subventions, and the various operators’ cost saving proposals were utterly vanquished by obdurate trade unions, that the consumer would pay the price.

And hey presto, next week Dublin Bus passengers will face fare increases of up to 25%. A journey that cost €2.80 will now set you back an exorbitant €3.05.

In just two years Dublin Bus fares have increased by a staggering 40%, with the National Transport Authority consistently rubber-stamping requests for hikes. And this occurring during a period of unprecedented austerity, when Irish consumers are under severe financial pressure…

Dublin Bus attributes the fare increase to falling passenger numbers. What genius figured raising prices would reverse this situation?

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4 Responses to Busman’s Holiday

  1. Yep, couldn’t agree with you more. Price is one (probably the main) reason I’ve more or less given up using the buses, (try and walk or cycle now)

    But today i had to get a bus, from Suffolk Street to the old/ former Dr Stephen’s Hospital -now the HQ of the HSE, (yet another smoothly- functioning Irish public institution) and the bus fare was €2.25 or something. For a 2K journey? Ludicrous.

    I’ve got (you will not be amazing to hear) a whole raft of Colonel Blimp-style opinions on measures we might take, to make the buses better, cleaner, faster, cheaper, more efficient and, (critically for me) less ugly.
    Currently, with that vile yellow livery, each bus is a large, travelling eyesore.

    I’m convinced as we fase out this generation of buses over time, we should replace it with an enormous fleet of those smaller little hi-tech eco-buses,

    They’d be far less intrusive but more frequent, (& hopefully, crucially, built in Ireland to create jobs)
    and as regards appearance, they should basically be silver-colour, possibly with a nice green and blue strip down the side. (Green for Ireland an blue for Dublin, silver to just not look hideous)
    The current fleet is a just pug-ugly. And the fares are getting to be a joke.

    salutations- Arran.

    • rjmackin says:

      Yes bring back the Imps. They were a great idea but unsurprisingly Dublin Bus was unable to operate them profitably. Agree completely on the livery. In a previous job, we commissioned the urban graffiti artist Maser to design a wrap for buses in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick that reflected their street-scapes. The end result was much more visually appealing than the blue and yellow. Wouldn’t it be great if our buses were designed by up and coming Irish artists?

      • Yes, agree with 99% of that. Have all the Imps been de-commissioned all sent elsewhere? Wasn’t sure. Used to use one everyday (the 130 route, from Dollymount to beautiful Abbey St) Hadn’t seen an Imp for ages, but wasn’t sure about state of play now. Sorry to hear that. (Wonder where they actually went, (?) there must have been 100s of them)

        Very interesting to hear about you commissioning artist to decorate buses. What was your role at the time, were you free lance curators or urban planers, or how did it come about?
        Sounds v interesting, – & would definitely be an improvement on current situation.
        There’s part of me however (the 1%) that feels that city buses should simply be as unobtrusive as possible. (hence my “small & silver” preference
        There’s too much “clutter” in the city already, both physical clutter- millions of traffic & advertising & posts & street signs, often poorly positioned, (usually on pavements that are already too-small) and also visual clutter, advertising, signs, plastic, a lot of it pure tat.

        Obviously your artists’ work (the bus skins) would have ben the opposite of tat, I bet they were beautiful and interesting, but do you know what i mean about the city centre? Its just too crowded and visually “busy”, i’d like to make it more restrained & elegant again, as it must have been from c1790-1890. Pipe dream I know, in a 21st C capital. But can’t help feeling we should try and move that way if pos.

        PS: How do Dublin bus manage to operate at a year by year loss or near loss?
        In a capital city, with ever higher fares, and with a monopoly?
        Quite an achievement!

      • rjmackin says:

        YES! Total pet hate of mine, the plague of unnecessary street signs. There’s one near us where you have a start of cycle track sign and then about 5 meters later an end of cycle track sign. I think it’s another symptom of our obsession with health & safety bureaucracy…. And don’t get me started on road markings, ramps and traffic lights… How did we manage to find our way round before all of that????

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