Updated: Nov 4, 2022
On Wednesday 2nd November 2022, the chairpersons of Dublin Commuter Coalition, Cork Commuter Coalition and Galway Commuter Coalition wrote to the chair and members of the Oireachtas Transport Committee in relation to what we believe is a crisis in public transport service in Ireland.
2nd November 2022
Mr Kieran O’Donnell, TD
Joint Committee on Transport and Communications
We're writing to you in relation to what we believe is a crisis point in the Irish public transport system. 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.
We understand that the operators have been struggling to both retain existing drivers and recruit new drivers. Unfortunately, this has come at a time when an even greater number of drivers is required to implement the expanded BusConnects network. However, despite well published recruitment campaigns, we are still not seeing the results on the ground over a year later. This has led to every phase of BusConnects in Dublin being significantly delayed and we fear the same will happen in the other cities.
Furthermore, reliability issues with the real time information system are exacerbating the problem. Passengers are seeing conflicting real time information across different official apps and on displays at bus stops. Often, services that are listed on the real time information system are in fact not operating at all. Such unreliable information is adding to the widespread frustration felt by public transport users.
This has all come at a time when we desperately need more people to switch to sustainable transport. We are asking you to convene a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications on this important issue. We believe that the Minister for Transport and the CEOs of the National Transport Authority and the transport operators must appear before the Committee to explain how this crisis arose and what measures will be put in place to urgently resolve it.
Feljin Jose Chairperson Dublin Commuter Coalition
Ciarán Meers Chairperson Cork Commuter Coalition
Eibhlín Seoighthe Chairperson Galway Commuter Coalition