Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (103)

Paul Murphy


103. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport if there is a plan to reduce the frequency of Dublin Bus Monday to Friday services to Saturday times. [2748/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport.

The Covid-19 health emergency has had a significant impact on the public transport sector. We have been advised by the National Transport Authority (NTA) that since the most recent move to Level 5, they are working closely with transport operators on contingency plans to temporarily reduce public transport services. The decision of the NTA and Dublin Bus to temporarily reduce services was due to three factors:

1. There has been an increase in staff absences due to Covid-19, thereby reducing the capability to operate the full timetable;

2. The need to preserve key resources by reducing demand on essential support teams; and

3. The large reduction in passenger demand since the move to Level 5.

On Monday 18th of January, with the agreement of the NTA, Dublin Bus implemented these temporary changes and moved to a "Saturday plus" timetable. This timetable is based on the existing Saturday timetable, with some additional services offered, particularly during the morning peak hours. These changes are similar to the schedule changes that were introduced last Summer. The NTA will continue to engage with Dublin Bus and other operators over the coming weeks to ensure sufficient capacity is in place while current Level 5 restrictions remain in place.