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Phase Two: Everything you need to know about using public transport from tomorrow

Phase Two begins tomorrow, but people are still advised to only use public transport when necessary.

Image: Rollingnews.ie

IRELAND IS HEADING into ‘Phase Two Plus’ tomorrow with people allowed to travel within their own county and some shops reopening.

As more workers head back to the job, an increase in public transport use is to be expected. 

The public health advice is still for people to avoid unnecessary journeys and to continue working from home if possible. 

The government is stressing that, while restrictions on travel and on many activities have been eased, people should “stay local”. 

What is happening with public transport?

Some public transport timetables will return to pre-pandemic levels of frequency, but capacity will be at 20% due to social distancing requirements.

People are still advised to only use public transport if they absolutely need to.

It’s recommended that face coverings be worn on public transport and in public places, such as shops.  

People are also advised to avoid peak travel times and instead choose to walk or cycle when possible. 

Essentially, use public transport if you need to for work or other essential journeys and wear a face mask if you can.

Will some services be operating on more frequent timetables now?

Some of them will be reverting back to pre-Covid frequency levels. Here are some more details on individual services. 

Bus Éireann and Go-Ahead Ireland

Both are returning to normal timetables from tomorrow after a reduced level during the lockdown.

More details on Bus Éireann services can be found here and Go-Ahead is here

In a statement, Bus Éireann said the two metre social distancing requirement means that single deck buses are limited to a maximum of 14 passengers, with double deck buses limited to a maximum of 19. 

Its chief executive Stephen Kent said: “In line with the new guidance on gradual easing of restrictions, we ask for continued support in observing necessary social distance and hygiene measures.

These measures will continue to limit our bus capacity in this phase, especially during peak hours, and we therefore ask for public understanding and co-operation on this issue and to only travel on our service when the journey is essential.

Dublin Bus

Many routes are returning to normal Monday-Friday levels, aside from a few exceptions.

  • Xpresso Routes 25d, 25x, 31d, 32x, 39x, 42d, 46e, 51d, 51x, 53a, 68x, 70d, 77x will not operate
  • Routes 90, 116 and 118 will not operate
  • Revised timetables will be in operation on Xpresso Routes 27x, 33x, 41x, 66x, 67x, 84x
  • A revised timetable will operate on Route 142
  • Routes 9, 46a, 122 and 123 will operate on a summer schedule
  • Routes that usually operate during the school terms will not operate throughout the summer

Irish Rail

From tomorrow, Dart services will run on a full timetable from Monday to Friday. Revised and reduced schedules will run at the weekends.

There will also be a continuation of a revised commuter service, with increased capacity on key services. There will be extra Drogheda and Athlone services. 

A revised intercity timetable will continue, with extra capacity on key services. There will be revised stopping patterns on a few journeys as well. 

National Transport Authority (NTA) CEO Anne Graham said they are relying on passengers and transport operators to manage the social distancing system. 

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She said staff will be able to advise passengers on train platforms if capacity has been reached.

Normally, bikes can’t be brought on trains during peak hours. But due to having more space on trains from social distancing measures, Graham said this is something the NTA will be reconsidering. 

Luas

Luas services were not reduced in recent months and they have been running as normal. This will stay the same from tomorrow.

TFI Local Link 

This service will also continue to operate on a normal service pattern.

The evening services on door-to-door routes are currently suspended. The resources behind this service are being redeployed to the delivery of community service support instead. 

All other Local Link services are continuing to operate. 

How else will transport be impacted? 

Retail stores reopening from Monday will have staggered opening hours and are unable to open earlier than 10.30am.

The Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, yesterday said these staggered times will help to “minimise significant expected pressures on public transport at peak times”. 

“It is important that we all continue to do our part in addressing this challenge and ensure that the easing of restrictions will be successful and the efforts and sacrifices of so many are rewarded,” he said.  

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