I refer the Deputy to my answer to Priority Question No. 2. The tendering and award of contracts for Public Service Obligation (PSO) services comes under the remit of the National Transport Authority (NTA).
In accordance with the decision made by the NTA Board on the arrangements for the award of public transport contracts after December 2014, all Dublin Bus routes will be included in the direct award contract which the NTA will enter into with Dublin Bus next December. However, a number of local and orbital bus routes will only remain within the direct award contract until the end of 2016 when they will be competitively tendered and thereafter removed from the direct award contract and provided under a separate contract. These local and orbital routes include a number of routes that serve the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area. I will take this opportunity to point out that the state, in the form of the NTA, will be the body who determine the schedule, the frequencies, vehicle-types associated with these services.
Since November the NTA has been engaged on the detailed work involved in the preparation of the necessary procurement and contract documentation required to implement the NTA Board's decision. The NTA expects the procurement process for the routes to be tendered will begin in December 2014 leading to the award of the contract in March 2016 with the successful operator commencing services in late 2016.