Bus companies in Dublin were fined nearly €2.5million in the first six months of the year for not showing up on time or canceling services.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has fined Dublin Bus nearly €1.5million, while Go-Ahead – the company that has taken over many of Dublin Bus routes in recent years – has been fined more when 850,000 euros was booked.
The Luas service was hit with penalties of €2.67 million for services not performed and services not performed on time.
Online community forums have been inundated with posts about poor service in recent months, with many commuters saying they can’t get to college, school or work on time.
Workers who rely on buses to get to their jobs have reported being warned by their employers about being late and fear it could affect their employment.
The 175 service from Citywest to UCD – a route operated by Go-Ahead Ireland – has been criticized because if it’s canceled or doesn’t show up on time, students will have to take two other buses from their locations to get to the university punctual.
Some stranded students have even shared taxis to Belfield campus if their 175 hasn’t arrived, which is a more expensive trip than the bus.
Frustrated commuters have said current bus service makes a mockery of government claims that more people should use public transport and leave their cars at home.
On Saturday, Carolyn Moore, Green Party Councilor for Kimmage and Rathmines, tweeted that she had waited 50 minutes for a number 13 bus to Ballymun, scheduled to come every 15 minutes.
“I could have got in the car and been there in 25 minutes or biked in 35 minutes, but I thought I’d take the bus. Big mistake,” she wrote.
“When I finally get there I will be an hour late and it will be almost two hours after I left my house this morning because I opted for an 8km journey on the Dublin Bus.
“I long for a city where the car can really be the last option people consider, but we still have a long way to go,” she added.
An NTA spokesman said bus companies, like many industries after the return to economic activity after the pandemic, face significant challenges in recruiting qualified employees.
“The Authority apologizes to passengers for the inconvenience caused by the current poor reduction in service,” the spokesman said.
Go-Ahead Ireland said it “s sincerely apologizes to all customers affected by this disruption” and wanted to reassure passengers that it is working to avoid a repeat of such events.
“Go-Ahead Ireland has recently launched its largest ever recruitment campaign for drivers and staff across our business. We’ve had an excellent response and are currently having new drivers being trained at our driving school and deployed across our network to improve our service and our passenger experience,” said a spokeswoman.
Dublin Commuter Coalition Group leader Feljin Jose said the problem of poor bus services has been around for many months and really can’t be resolved until new drivers come on stream.
“Questions we have to ask are: where are the drivers who were hired six months ago? Bus companies are struggling to keep drivers,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/dublin-bus-luas-and-go-ahead-fined-5m-for-delays-and-no-shows-42016226.html Dublin Bus, Luas and Go-Ahead fined €5m for delays and no-shows