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  • in reply to: the 39 is a disgrace! #5138


    I am one of those “Dublin Bus sucks” people. I lived in Dublin during 2001/2002, when there were far less people living here, and the 65B bus service was never on time when I wanted to get home from work. Here’s an example:

    “We stopped to watch a bus go past on the other side of the road. The rain fell heavily and we both breathed a sigh of relief. The bus would be back in a moment to pick us up.

    We waited for another 10 minutes.

    ‘Where the hell is that bus?’ I snapped. ‘I’m bloody freezing out here! Where do the buggers go?’

    This bus stop was like the Bermuda Triangle. Double-decker buses just… vanished. How could someone make a £250,000, four metre high bus painted in vibrant blue, white and orange disappear? Maybe the driver had nicked off to the nearest pub for a drink; there was a tavern just over the next hill.

    I questioned a number of people about the puzzling bus disappearances. The truth was more idiotic than my pub theory. The drivers were supposed to turn around 100 metres up the road and come back to pick us up. Drivers who were running late did not turn around. They raced past, turned onto the nearest freeway and headed back into the city. The buses were completely empty.

    It’s the sort of efficiency drive I would expect from Sir Humphrey Appleby of the BBC’s Yes Minister series. In one episode, Appleby posted 200 administrators to a brand new hospital. No patients had been admitted and there were no doctors or nurses, because, ‘the cost would be prohibitive, Minister’.” See http://www.chrisdowding.net for more.

    I’m not sure if the 65B route is still rotton. Hopefully most people put up with the bus to Tallaght and catch the Luas home from the Square (the Luas was only getting built when I worked here). I sympathise with anyone who has to use the 65B all the way to town. I consider myself to be environmentally aware, but it you’re on the 65B, maybe you should buy yourself an old banger.

    in reply to: Dublin Airport Services #5119


    You know, it’s pretty easy to reduce the cost of the express Airlink service if you want to:

    a) If there’s a group of you, or if you are going out to the airport a few times, buy a 5 pack of One day Rambler tickets at 19 Euros, which works out to €3.90 a ticket.

    b) If you’re a family of people, buy the One Day Family Rambler ticket for €10.00. Say you are a family with two parents and two kids. The standard Airlink fare would be 18 Euros, so the Rambler ticket is much cheaper.

    While both of these options still work out a bit higher than the cost of the local buses, you get into town heaps quicker and the Rambler ticket is still valid for other bus routes for the rest of the day. Of course, DB’s Airlink drivers don’t carry the Rambler tickets on the buses – because it would mean less revenue to DB. Lots of newsagents and corner stores in town carry them. I haven’t tried this, but CIE sell tickets at their Information Desk at the airport, and so does Dublin Tourism. Maybe the Rambler tickets are available there.

    Here’s my experience of the local buses, as an Aussie arriving in Dublin for the first time:-

    “The double-decker bus lurched around a corner. The driver tramped briefly on the brakes and we were thrown headfirst towards the seat in front of us. The driver pressed on the accelerator just in time and our heads rolled backwards, just before our teeth collided with the seat.

    I clutched Kerryn’s hand and jammed my feet tightly against the floor. Was the driver training for some kind of Bus Grand Prix event? He tested the entire power range of the engine as he raced towards the city. He also changed gears and floored the engine every time he hit a bump in the road, which made the bus leap spectacularly into the air.” (See http://www.chrisdowding.net for more.)

    In comparison, the Airlink services are smooth, quiet and arranged to carry luggage. They only take half the time of a local bus. You don’t have to shove your way past ‘every man and his dog’ to get on, either…. er, actually, forget I said anything. Keep using the local buses and leave the Airlink 747 nice and empty – for me;)

    in reply to: How full does a bus have to be to call itself full? #5116


    When my wife and I lived in Dublin (2001/2002), bus drivers drove past frantically waving people standing at different bus stops (in the rain). The bus services were always running late, and to make up time, some drivers would shortcut their route. This cut several minutes from their time, but it also cut several passengers off from their intended destination! After I read this post, it was obvious that Dublin Bus remains the inefficient hopeless service it was when I lived there.

    I remember that passengers say thanks as they pass the driver to get off a Dublin bus, but in my case this was short for ‘Thanks, driver for not abusing me’ or ‘thank God I’m still alive.’ See http://www.chrisdowding.net for more.

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