Joe Meagher - Articles and news items
Listening to the daily news unfolding of the impact of the economic downturn, it is becoming apparent that no one is immune to the difficulties arising from the current climate and like all cities, the future in Dublin looks challenging for businesses.
Dublin Bus must be prepared for the challenges to come. There are a number of well documented factors which affect all public transport providers in Ireland that are of particular concern. One such issue is the continued rise in the cost of fuel. At present, fuel prices mean that the cost of running the Dublin Bus fleet will rise from €19.6 million in 2007 to €37 million this year.
Under the Irish Government’s Transport 21 Investment Programme, bus services will be central to providing a reliable and efficient transport service for the people of Dublin. Each year, Dublin Bus carries close to 150 million people across the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) and with the help of Transport 21, the company can continue to improve the service it offers to passengers.
Transport 21 is the capital investment framework agreed by the Irish Government for the development of transport infrastructure and services for the period 2006 to 2015. The first stage of the programme for Dublin Bus was the announcement of additional buses to the fleet. To date, there are an extra 100 buses in service across the network. As a result, over 300 new drivers were recruited in 2007. These staff underwent a rigorous training programme with a combination of driving instruction out on the roads and a series of lectures on issues such as safety, customer awareness, disability awareness and company policy.
Carrying 150 million passengers in 2006, Dublin Bus remains the largest public transport provider in Dublin with 70 per cent of public transport users each morning commuting into the city by bus.
Last year was a particularly successful year for the company in terms of passenger numbers and profits, and despite worsening congestion, passenger numbers increased by almost one million, and revenue by two million Euros on the previous year. These achievements are due to a number of factors, including fleet expansion, accessibility of service, and the provision of a viable alternative to private car use.