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More 24-hour Dublin buses to be rolled out in autumn

Increase in late-night services across the public transport network is being kept under review, Dept of Transport tells The Journal.

Dublin buses on O'Connell Street at night.
Dublin buses on O'Connell Street at night.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

MORE LATE-NIGHT bus services are on the way this autumn, with 24-hour services along the routes servicing the Red Cow – city centre – Spencer Dock areas, as well as the route from Liffey Valley SC – city centre – Spencer Dock. 

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan “recognises that the demand for late-night transport is increasing and acknowledges that the National Transport Authority, in partnership with public transport operators, are proactively taking steps to meet that demand”, a spokesperson for the department said.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee told The Journal last week that part of her plan to overhaul the country’s licensing laws, allowing pubs and nightclubs to stay open later, also includes ensuring that “it’s safe that people can get to and from our towns and cities and villages” after a night out. 

The minister said she will be bringing forward a bill to Cabinet in the autumn that will give the green light for nightclubs and pubs to open later.

Concerns have been raised about the need for late-night transport to be ramped up by the time the new legislation allowing pubs and clubs to open later comes into effect. 

However, last week the National Transport Authority (NTA) told The Journal that for now it has ruled out running Luas services past 1am.

A spokesperson for the department said the transport minister understands that the NTA is planning more late-night bus services, including a 24-hour services on routes G1 and G2 as part of Phase 4 of the rollout of the new BusConnects network in Dublin this autumn. 

While listing the number of late-night bus services that are currently up and running along the network, the spokesperson added that 24-hour services in 2023 on the E-Spine, the F-Spine and the O-orbital are also under consideration.

These E and F routes service the Charlestown Shopping Centre and Northwood areas, the city centre, and out to Bray and Dun Laoghaire. The orbital route services the North and South Circular Road areas. 

These services will be in addition to 13 Nitelink services operated by Dublin Bus, added the department spokesperson.

“The NTA has indicated that there is potential for each of the spine groups to have at least one route running 24 hours, but final decisions will be made closer to the time of each rollout,” they said. 

“The need for greater late-night services across the public transport network is being kept under review,” said the spokesperson.

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