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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
travel tips

Here's how public transport will look over the Christmas period

Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Irish Rail are operating revised schedules.

LAST UPDATE | Dec 24th 2020, 2:18 PM

THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON, most people will be staying closer to home than usual in a bid to avoid spreading Covid-19.

For short and long trips over the next week, public transport services will be operating revised schedules, with bookings needed in some cases.

But with all non-essential inter-county travel restricted from midnight on St Stephen’s Day following the government’s decision to move to Level 5 of the ‘Living with Covid’ plan, all transport operators will have to significantly reduce capacity on their routes.

Face coverings remain mandatory across all forms of public transport, and passengers are asked to maintain social distancing.

Here’s a breakdown of how public transport will look.

Dublin Bus

shutterstock_1037621248 Shutterstock / Yulia Plekhanova File photo Shutterstock / Yulia Plekhanova / Yulia Plekhanova

Today, Dublin Bus will continue to operate a Saturday service on all routes before launching into its Christmas schedule.

The last departures on all routes on Christmas Eve will leave at around 9pm.

There will be no buses running on Christmas Day.

Following the reintroduction of some Level 5 restrictions from this evening, Dublin Bus will move to 25% capacity across all routes.

On Monday, 28 December until Wednesday, 30 December, a Saturday service will be in operation on all routes.

For those three days, some routes will have additional early morning departures in one or both directions, including: 13, 27, 33, 37 38, 39a, 40, 41c, 46a, 123 and 145.

New Year’s Eve will see a weekday service in operation with last departures at around 10pm.

Routes 15, 39a and 41, which usually operate a 24 hour service, will stop operating briefly at 10pm and resume again at midnight.

On New Year’s Day, a Sunday service will be in operation across all routes.

Dublin Bus’ Booking Office and Customer Service, and its Lost Property office, will close from 2pm on Christmas Eve, reopen on Tuesday, 29 December, and close again on 1, 2, and 3 January.

Its customer service phone lines and social media will operate each day except for Christmas Day.

Bus Éireann

shutterstock_1190327839 Shutterstock / Derick Hudson Shutterstock / Derick Hudson / Derick Hudson

Final departures on Bus Éireann’s city, town, commuter and rural services will leave from 9pm this evening, while its expressway services will operate as normal to the last departure on each service, which are listed in full here.

There will be no services on Christmas Day.

From midnight on St Stephen’s Day — when inter-county travel restrictions come into force — until 12 January, capacity will be cut to 25% across all Bus Éireann and Expressway routes.

Capacity will be limited to one in four seats and passengers are advised that these seats should be reserved for essential workers, Bus Éireann said in a statement.

Irish Rail

For train travel, Irish Rail is operating a revised schedule from 24 December to 1 January.

Under Level 3 restrictions, which remain in place this evening, trains will operate at 50% capacity.

This will be reduced to 25% capacity when Level 5 restrictions come into force from 27 December and “should only be used by those travelling for essential work and education purposes”, Irish Rail said in a statement.

However, Intercity services will continue to operate at 50% capacity in order to facilitate any pre-bookings made up to 22 December.

There will be no train services on Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day.

Pre-booking is mandatory for intercity services up to 6 January.

Irish Rail is asking passengers to “please only travel if jour journey is necessary, and avoid peak and busier times if at all possible”.

Seating is unassigned on the pre-booked services, and customers have been asked to align with social distancing and not to sit in seats that have been designated as restricted.


All Luas services will operate as normal until 8pm tonight before stopping for Christmas Day.

On St Stephen’s Day, trams will resume at Sunday frequencies from 9am. Last Luas will be at 11.30pm.

Luas services will continue to operate on this basis until 29 December when they will move to a Saturday schedule until 1 January. 

Normal service will resume from Saturday, 2 January.

For more info, you can check the Luas website.

Additional reporting by Ian Curran

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