The roll-out of additional 24-hour Dublin Bus services could help tackle the city’s taxi shortages, it has been claimed.
s a result of many drivers leaving the taxi industry since Covid-19, late-night revellers have complained it has become more difficult to get home, particularly on weekends.
With plans for a radical overhaul of our licensing laws, which could see clubs stay open until 6am, Dublin Bus may have an increasingly important role to play in getting punters home after a night out.
Things certainly seem to be heading in that direction. Dublin Bus now has six routes operating around the clock, seven days a week, across its network, in addition to 13 Nitelink services on weekends.
The company’s outgoing chief executive Ray Coyne recently told Newstalk he would like to see the expansion of 24-hour services to assist with the night-time economy.
He said demand for these services has been extremely high and the roll-out could be increased with the support of the National Transport Authority (NTA).
Duncan Smith, the Labour Party’s Transport spokesperson, believes there is a clear need for additional 24-hour services in Dublin.
He said providing alternative and affordable ways of travelling was “a no-brainer” and should be introduced as a priority.
“We must also acknowledge changing work patterns and the need for workers to have access to affordable transport options to get to and from their place of work,” he added.
A spokesperson for Dublin Bus said it wasn’t possible to provide a breakdown of passenger numbers for its 24-hour routes as this was “commercially sensitive” information.
Some of these routes were introduced as part of the BusConnects project, which is being phased in across the network.
The full list of 24-hour routes are as follows:
– 15 (Ballycullen Road via city centre to Clongriffin)
– 39a (Ongar via city centre to UCD Belfield)
– 41 (city centre to Dublin Airport and Swords)
– C5 (Straffan Road, Maynooth via the city centre to Ringsend)
– C6 (Maynooth train station via city centre to Ringsend Road)
– N4 orbital route (Blanchardstown to Point Village)
In addition to these routes, 13 Nitelink services run at weekends.
Meanwhile, the National Transport Authority has announced an order for 120 double-deck battery-electric buses, 100 of which will serve the Dublin Bus network.
The buses will be manufactured and assembled in Northern Ireland. The initial order for the buses represents an investment of €80m, with the first ones expected to enter service in 2023.
Anne Graham, chief executive of the NTA, said: “The transition to a zero-emission bus fleet is a central component of our BusConnects project, and the procurement of these battery-electric buses represents a key milestone in that process.”
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan added: “Decarbonising transport is imperative as part of our effort to tackle climate change. The battery-electric buses will accelerate the transition to a zero-emission fleet.”