Anthony McIntyre 🏴‍☠️ It can be a frustrating experience for commuters when dealing with the bussing end of public transport. 

Yesterday before a Dail committee, public transport bosses appeared to give a performance account in the face of blistering criticism around the inefficiencies in their operation.

Last week commuter coalitions from Cork, Galway and Dublin all wrote to the Transport Committee voicing concerns that the public transport system was now at "crisis point."

For over a year, public transport users have been faced with long delays, cancelled services, and ‘ghost buses’ and, sadly, the situation is not showing any signs of improving.
The problem is particularly acute on low-frequency routes where just one cancelled service may result in wait times of over an hour. We believe that this level of poor service is eroding trust in the public transport system and jeopardising the Government’s goals to increase public transport usage.


Dublin Bus in particular seems to be on a year round Halloween schedule with the ghost bus service that never arrives, but merely appears on real time apps and electronic signs at the stops. ‘Bus passengers regularly describe waiting for buses that don’t show up’ and they complain about the inability of Dublin Bus to provide notice of cancellations, opting instead to leave people stranded because there is no last bus home.

The problem is more widespread than Galway, Cork and Dublin. So frequent has the no show been right across the board on public transport that wags would take to quipping that all you need to do to go to a fancy dress party as Bus Eireann is not turn up.

In Drogheda the local town service is underperforming as well. Having left the cinema yesterday afternoon, upon watching Wings Of Desire along with my wife, I felt we were going to need wings to get home. We stood with others at the bus stop in West Street. Eager to compete with the other ghost buses, it proceeded to show that it would not show.

The traffic was light so there was no apparent reason for the delay. I have noticed it increasingly over the past few weeks despite no appreciably larger footfall in town nor chaotic roads. Yesterday afternoon, the bus to Moneymore was a mere five minutes late but the Ballsgrove one had still failed to materialise twenty minutes after its scheduled arrival. Normally both arrive together, often, within touching distance of each other. My wife, not as used to the phenomenon as I am, said in exasperation, it is not coming.

Eventually, gloomily, we headed off to get a taxi as did others, departing the rank thirty minutes after our bus was due to arrive. Glancing from our cab down West Street as we passed, there was still no sign of town service 173.  It makes no sense to lower bus fares to help assist with the cost of living crisis only for buses not to turn up or be so chronically late that using them is not worth the effort. Had I been travelling alone the taxi fare would have been 600% greater than the bus fare on Leap. It ended up half that level when my wife's additional bus far is taken into account. 

Having to use taxis in lieu is not an isolated phenomenon:

This happens constantly for me and I’ve been late to work multiple times cause of it . . .  I’ve found myself paying for taxis to work almost everyday now because the TFI transport system is just genuinely awful.

Individual drivers are not to blame as they struggle to fulfill their schedule and are normally quite pleasant and helpful although often strained. To boot, many, particularly in Dublin, fear assault, The system that is in place is simply not fit for purpose. Dublin Bus currently employs 2,800 drivers but has 150 vacancies it needs filled. Despite active recruitment the Acting Chief Executive said that “even with this number of new drivers, we are not keeping pace with the rate of network expansion...”

The Transport Minister, given his concerns about climate change, needs to get off his bike and explain just how people can be persuaded into public transport and away from the use of cars as a climate protection measure. Wrap the Green flag around me boys is not fixing this one. 

 ⏩ Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre

Free Transport On No Bus

Anthony McIntyre 🏴‍☠️ It can be a frustrating experience for commuters when dealing with the bussing end of public transport. 

Yesterday before a Dail committee, public transport bosses appeared to give a performance account in the face of blistering criticism around the inefficiencies in their operation.

Last week commuter coalitions from Cork, Galway and Dublin all wrote to the Transport Committee voicing concerns that the public transport system was now at "crisis point."

For over a year, public transport users have been faced with long delays, cancelled services, and ‘ghost buses’ and, sadly, the situation is not showing any signs of improving.
The problem is particularly acute on low-frequency routes where just one cancelled service may result in wait times of over an hour. We believe that this level of poor service is eroding trust in the public transport system and jeopardising the Government’s goals to increase public transport usage.


Dublin Bus in particular seems to be on a year round Halloween schedule with the ghost bus service that never arrives, but merely appears on real time apps and electronic signs at the stops. ‘Bus passengers regularly describe waiting for buses that don’t show up’ and they complain about the inability of Dublin Bus to provide notice of cancellations, opting instead to leave people stranded because there is no last bus home.

The problem is more widespread than Galway, Cork and Dublin. So frequent has the no show been right across the board on public transport that wags would take to quipping that all you need to do to go to a fancy dress party as Bus Eireann is not turn up.

In Drogheda the local town service is underperforming as well. Having left the cinema yesterday afternoon, upon watching Wings Of Desire along with my wife, I felt we were going to need wings to get home. We stood with others at the bus stop in West Street. Eager to compete with the other ghost buses, it proceeded to show that it would not show.

The traffic was light so there was no apparent reason for the delay. I have noticed it increasingly over the past few weeks despite no appreciably larger footfall in town nor chaotic roads. Yesterday afternoon, the bus to Moneymore was a mere five minutes late but the Ballsgrove one had still failed to materialise twenty minutes after its scheduled arrival. Normally both arrive together, often, within touching distance of each other. My wife, not as used to the phenomenon as I am, said in exasperation, it is not coming.

Eventually, gloomily, we headed off to get a taxi as did others, departing the rank thirty minutes after our bus was due to arrive. Glancing from our cab down West Street as we passed, there was still no sign of town service 173.  It makes no sense to lower bus fares to help assist with the cost of living crisis only for buses not to turn up or be so chronically late that using them is not worth the effort. Had I been travelling alone the taxi fare would have been 600% greater than the bus fare on Leap. It ended up half that level when my wife's additional bus far is taken into account. 

Having to use taxis in lieu is not an isolated phenomenon:

This happens constantly for me and I’ve been late to work multiple times cause of it . . .  I’ve found myself paying for taxis to work almost everyday now because the TFI transport system is just genuinely awful.

Individual drivers are not to blame as they struggle to fulfill their schedule and are normally quite pleasant and helpful although often strained. To boot, many, particularly in Dublin, fear assault, The system that is in place is simply not fit for purpose. Dublin Bus currently employs 2,800 drivers but has 150 vacancies it needs filled. Despite active recruitment the Acting Chief Executive said that “even with this number of new drivers, we are not keeping pace with the rate of network expansion...”

The Transport Minister, given his concerns about climate change, needs to get off his bike and explain just how people can be persuaded into public transport and away from the use of cars as a climate protection measure. Wrap the Green flag around me boys is not fixing this one. 

 ⏩ Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre

1 comment:

  1. Cam comments

    Do what I do AM, walk into town.

    I had very similar experiences for 8 years in Belfast - even on one occasion I informed Transwank (Translink) after a heated telephone discussion on the continually late or no showing of a service (now, this bus was supposed to be at my stop for 06.20 so the omnipresent ‘traffic’ excuse was not acceptable at that time of the morning) and where the Transwank staff member attempted to convince me that the service was at the stop as we were speaking as the bus has a GPS system fitted and they can see that it is there on their tracking systems and I responded that the route information LED display at the stop also stated that it was here but that the issue might be the fuck’n Klingon cloaking device that they use which could also explain the fall-off in passenger numbers. She hung up at that point.

    On another occasion they changed the route to encompass extra stops and streets around the docks and through Oxford Street bus centre where the driver was ordered to wait for a few minutes before pulling out again and it added approximately 13 - 15 minutes extra on to the journey. When I informed Transwank that no-one has ever boarded the bus at the stipulated extra stops in the last 4 weeks and that I now carry a fuck'n pack lunch for the journey, they hung up again.

    One regular driver consistently read the paper while driving - spread it out over his dash board and would juke up and down as he drove. I gave up at that point and decided to walk from now on.
    It is 3 miles in to town for me to walk and since starting it many years ago I haven’t looked back, daily exercise in and out. Oh, you have to get up slightly earlier to leave the house but when you think of the time wasted standing at bus stops waiting for a bus that you know deep down isn’t coming then it balances out. Downside is that what you save in bus fares you spend on footwear - can’t have it all I suppose!!!!!!

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