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Dublin Bus fined €165,000 after more than 50% of services fail to meet punctuality targets

The company is required to meet punctuality targets as part of its contract with the NTA.

Image: RollingNews.ie

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT Authority (NTA) has fined Dublin Bus more than €165,000 for failing to meet contractual punctuality targets during the first half of the year.

Figures released by the NTA earlier this week reveal that just two in five of the company’s ‘Low Frequency’ services met the company’s punctuality targets between January and 16 June.

A punctuality target of 64% was in place between January and 19 May, before a 67% target was introduced on 20 May.

Just 26 of the company’s 92 ‘Low Frequency’ services – those which operate less than four times per hour on a weekday outside peak periods – met the new 67% target over four weeks between May and June.

In contrast, 80% of the company’s ‘High Frequency’ routes, which operate every 15 minutes or more often on a weekday outside peak periods, met their target during the first six months of the year.

These 16 routes have a separate target, measured in so-called Excess Wait Time, as passengers who use them are deemed more likely to turn up at the bus stop and wait for the next bus to arrive, rather than plan their journeys using a schedule.

An NTA spokesman confirmed that the authority fined Dublin Bus €165,096.69 for failing to meet its punctuality targets during the first six months of the year.

As part of its contract, Dublin Bus is required to meet targets in relation to the punctuality, reliability and the quality of its service.

The NTA measures the punctuality of the company’s routes at all stops over 13 four-week periods throughout the year.

Punctuality is counted as the percentage of times that buses are at a stop within a minute before they are scheduled to arrive, or are up to six minutes afterwards.

It is measured by gauging the scheduled departure time for a bus at each stop against its actual departure time using Automatic Vehicle Location equipment on board each bus.

The company was also fined an additional €103,000 by the authority for failing to operate scheduled services and for not meeting its service quality targets between January and June.

It previously incurred €2.7 million in fines from the authority between June 2016 and the end of last year for failing to meet targets and to operate scheduled services.

A spokesman for the authority explained to TheJournal.ie that penalties are not imposed if punctuality targets are not met for reasons outside of the control of operators.

These reasons include events such as severe weather, road closures, or traffic congestion.

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