Strong passenger journey growth at Bus Éireann in 2014

Strong passenger journey growth at Bus Éireann in 2014

Bus Éireann carried over one million extra passengers in 2014, compared to the previous 12 months, and passenger journey numbers jumped by almost 7% in the regional cities.

Dublin commuter journeys were up 2% and overall, total road passenger journeys increased to 35.424 million - up from 34.274 million - which was a strong performance given the ongoing challenges in the Irish economy.

In Galway city, passenger journey numbers grew by 12%, while in Limerick the numbers were up by 4%. In Cork city, passenger journey figures grew by 6%, while in Waterford journeys were down by just 1%.

Bus Éireann recently signed a new five year Public Service Obligation (PSO) contract with the National Transport Authority (NTA), which will see the development of further customer service standards and increased reliability and punctuality targets.

In the New Year, the company will take delivery of 57 new PSO vehicles. These includes 20 single deck coaches, 25 double deck buses and 12 double deck coaches. The new vehicles will be deployed to the routes which require them most. Bus Éireann has also submitted invites to tender for the supply of 143 new PSO buses, for delivery in 2015 and 2016. These are required to replace older fleet and for projected passenger growth in the next two years. The final quantities for each lot, and each year, will be subject to funding being available from the NTA.  

This year, the company re-launched its Expressway service with a new campaign and new buses, and the first 20 new luxury coaches will be introduced to the commercial fleet in early 2015. While new fleet will help address some of the capacity issues, congestion remains a growing problem which can be aided by improved bus priority measures on key routes. Bus Éireann will continue to work with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the National Transport Authority (NTA), to develop an even better future for public transport - with higher capacity vehicles, and more bus priority measures for the towns and cities outside of Dublin.

Commenting on the growth in 2014, and on the general outlook for 2015, Bus Éireann chief executive Martin Nolan said: “Bus Éireann has achieved significant turnaround – and boosted customer numbers – over the last twelve months. Further growth is predicted next year in line with the improving economy, which augurs well for the standards of public transport that can be delivered, and the critical role it can play in helping the economy recover even faster. However, we also need to continue to invest to provide extra fleet capacity - along with more bus priority measures, in particular on commuter corridors - to combat congestion. Maintaining pressure on our cost base is also key. We will continually strive to enhance services for our customers, and remain at the heart of delivering public transport in Ireland.”

Bus Éireann is positioning internally to make 2015 the “Year of the Customer” and to build measurably on the many improvements achieved for the travelling public. The BéClub passenger loyalty initiative passed a milestone 100,000 members last month, and the company will kick off the New Year with an €8 seat sale on selected Expressway destinations, beginning on January 12th next.


Friday, 2nd January, 2015