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Dublin: 3°C Sunday 29 November 2020

'An extraordinary amount of money for phantom buses': What people think about Dublin Bus

Here is what the public has complained about over the past 12 months.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

OVER THE PAST year members of the public have had plenty to say about the Dublin Bus service.

A lot of it might have been good, but people are generally less inclined to write a letter or send an email when that is the case.

So – following a freedom of information request - TheJournal.ie can reveal what aspects of the service have created the biggest gripes for customers this year.

The following complaints were submitted to the Department of Transportation over the past 12 months.

Taking the bus is an expensive business

Predictably, people are not happy about price increases.

From the 1 January 2015 there was a jump in the cost of both cash fares and Leap card fares, followed by a 5 cent increase on cash fares in November.

Writing to the Department in January, a 33-year-old man who described himself as being on social welfare expressed anger at the increase in the cost of the five-day Leap card top up – arguing that Dublin Bus did not take on board the fact that there were still individuals struggling with the recession.

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Another irate passenger slammed the timing of the increase, hitting people struggling with post-Christmas debt.

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After the announcement of the November fare increase in October, there was a spate of complaints to the department.

One student described his “disappointment”, claiming the €107 he was already paying for his 30-day rambler ticket as an “extraordinary amount of money”.

Another was categoric in stating that the fare increases had driven him to sever his political allegiance with the bigger government party.

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When is this bus coming?

A number of passengers were unhappy with inconsistencies in real-time information available at bus stops or on the Dublin Bus app.

In January one passenger described waiting for the No 14 bus on what was the coldest day of the year – with real-time information telling him there would be a 44 minute gap before the next bus was due to arrive.

In his email, this customer described the real-time information available as a work of “disingenuous fiction”.

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A No 16 bus user followed this line of criticism when writing to the Department in July, saying the information provided was “pure fiction”.

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In October, a student wrote to the department about “phantom buses” on the No 13 and No 151 routes.

They described the arrival of the bus being counted down until it indicated that it was due – at which point the bus failed to appear.

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What routes were people most annoyed about?

Over the course of 2015 altercations and cancellations of bus routes have upset the public.

Services that individuals have taken particular issue with have been the No 7, the No 17, the No 25 and the No 59.

During the summer, there were a number of complaints about the change of services to Sallynoggin. These would have seen the No 7 service re-routed. Later changes to other bus routes meant that service to the area was not severely affected.

In July, Fine Gael councillor William Lavelle wrote to the Department of Transport to request that the 25 route be expanded to include a ’25c’ service that would provide greater coverage.

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In August, a number of customers felt aggrieved with changes to the No 59 service that would see less buses travelling to Killiney.

Writing to the Department, one member of the public stressed the difficulty that this would create for older residents in the area.

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In response to the complaints featured in this article, Dublin Bus stated that some of the areas referred to, like fare increases and smoking at bus shelters, were outside of its jurisdiction.

It aims to respond to complaints made through email on the same day and complaints made through Twitter within an hour. It aims to send our an acknowledgement of a written complaints within a week and a response within three weeks.

Targets and reporting structures in relation to the service provided to customers are included in our contract with the National Transport Authority.
We value our customers views and regularly use independent market researchers to audit our performance and customer views. We will continue to research customers’ views on our services now and in the future.

Read: Your bus, rail and Luas fares are going up today

Also: Six family members kicked off bus lose defamation claim

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