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The Nitelink will be back next Friday after all (if nightclubs are open that is)

There had been concerns that the Dublin Bus service would not be operational for the planned return of nightclubs.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

DUBLIN’S NITELINK BUS service is set to resume from next Friday to coincide with the planned reopening of the night-time economy. 

There had been concerns that the late-night Dublin Bus service would not be operational for the planned return of nightclubs and late bars next week after the National Transport Authority (NTA) had said that there were “no current plans” for Nitelink’s return. 

Following disquiet around the issue, the NTA had said that it was “committed” to a return of the service and it’s now been confirmed that it will again be in service from next Friday 22 October. 

The Nitelink service has not operated since the March 2020 lockdown but three 24/7 routes as part of Dublin Bus’s regular schedule have been operational. 

The Department of Transport has confirmed this afternoon that 16 Nitelink routes will provide services once more from next Friday, “subject to a final government decision on further reopening of the economy.”

“The restoration of Nitelink will provide public transport in Dublin on weekend nights into the early hours of the morning,” Minister Eamon Ryan said in a statement.

While government still has to make a final decision on reopening after considering public health advice, we want to be ready to provide a service when the night-time economy reopens. 

Dublin Bus has also confirmed a return of the service, with CEO Ray Coyne tweeting that it was “another positive step forward”.

On 22 October all remaining Covid-19 restrictions are scheduled to be lifted, allowing pubs to ditch social distancing requirements and to operate past the current 11.30 pm. 

Whilst government has said that this remains the scheduled plan, increasing Covid-19 cases have meant that a final decision will be taken next week. 

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As well as the three Dublin Bus services (15, 39a and 41) that operate on a 24-hour basis, the NTA has said that the BusConnects C-spine serving the Lucan from Ringsend and Sandymount will also begin a 24-hour schedule before the end of this year. 

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Rónán Duffy

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