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Dublin: 20°C Tuesday 15 June 2021

Inaccurate 'real time' information and food defrosting: Why people get angry at Bus Éireann

One passenger described the ‘real time’ system as “more like random number generators as they are never accurate”.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

BUS ÉIREANN RECEIVED a number of complaints this year, not unusual for a public transport service.

It’s a difficult time for the company, with concerns it could be insolvent within two years. Shane Ross recently warned that the semi-state company’s financial outlook is “fairly bleak“.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, TheJournal.ie received copies of complaints members of the public sent to the company in 2016.

A lot of the complaints relate to buses being late and/or not dropping people off at designated stops.

One woman said she had a number of negative experiences with a service in the Ballycummin area of Limerick. She said the timetable of the route in question says a bus is supposed to show up every 15 minutes, but she is often left waiting 40 minutes.

On another occasion, frozen groceries her husband bought had to be thrown out as his bus was delayed for an hour.

She went on to call the ‘real time’ information at some bus stops “more like random number generators as they are never accurate”.


Another passenger also took issue with the ‘real time’ system, saying it sometimes bears “no relation to the actual arrival time”, leading to people being late or missing their bus.

real time

Another person was critical when a bus due for Dublin Airport allegedly didn’t stop where it was supposed to, leading to a person trying to catch up to it in a car so they didn’t miss their flight.

The letter writer said that if an accident has been caused as a result, Bus Éireann’s action “would have been a major contributing factor”.


One passenger took issue with buses allegedly slowing down but not stopping at designated stops.

stopping 2

Meanwhile, a UCC student got in touch with Ross to ask for more investment in public transport in Cork, saying it would benefit both local people and tourists.



It’s also common for public representatives to get in touch with Ross about bus services affecting their constituents, as did junior minister Damien English, TD for Meath West, and Peter Burke, TD for Longford Westmeath:

damien english

peter 115

Read: Unions ‘dismayed and angry’ about Bus Éireann’s approach to pay talks

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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