Thank you for coming onto this blog, having a read through it and being the first mainstream news-source to highlight the issues with transport in this city. It is especially impressive seeing as the paper depends on advertising, meaning content is generally secondary to stories which support (or at least don't dis) businesses or advertisers in the city. The people of Limerick who take the bus everyday wish to thank you whole heartily and we all want you to continue with such critical observations of services in the city (with particular emphasis on transport). Please don't let this weeks article be the last. Its a breath of fresh air for the forgotten people of this forgotten city.
Thanking you once again,
The commuting population of Limerick
I'm a Spanish journalist living in Limerick since 10 years ago and I find the media here to be completely obnoxious and ignorant on their own trade. For example, in this week post they mention your blog and a number to ring and complain, but they don't list the web address or the actual number!!Yes, ha.. I noticed that myself, but you must commend the article itself... its a first for this city (at least in recent times) to hop off the fence and demand change. The paper highlighted some horrific stories (including one fellow walking home from the city and reaching Castletroy long before the bus did and others waiting 2 hours for a bus driver to come) and questioned Bus Eireann (who gave a poor response - directed at just that particular incident and promised new routes would improve services. The new routes is a joke, an additional route to Raheen is not whats needed, its improving the one currently there).
There is talk of the Limerick Blogger - the only real source of info on Limerick - closing down.When i refer to the media in Limerick some may notice i always use the term 'mainstream' that is because the Limeric Blogger does not stay on the fence and dish out press releases but actually acts as a service to its readers. Luckily the Limerick Blogger will continue, with some adjustments, but it will continue, which is great news for the city.
It might also be benefitial if the told people how much the bus cost, rather than expecting them to know, all this would take is printing a sticker and placing it by the door as you're getting on.Yes, they have (on some buses) price lists on either side of the driver when you get to him (on some buses it looks as if it has just been tipexed on, has anyone else noticed that?), what they need to do is have it printed on the timetables that they need to put up!).
In reference to Sligo town having a bus service until 0425 while Limerick City's bus service runs until 2320:
That is a shocking state of affairs, they should at least have a bus route running out to Castletroy into the early hours.
I guess they are just worried about people puking in the buses... but doesn't that happen in Sligo?!?
This incompetent Bus Eireann thing is not run for the benefit of its customers but for the convenience of its employees.
Limerick Bus generally assumes clairvoyances as passengers.
Here is the Article in full as read from LimerickPost.ie:
Three hour city bus epic
by Pamela Duncan
INCREASING numbers of Limerick’s bus faring public say they are being driven round the bend by the irregularity of Bus Eireann’s city service.One user claimed that a 30 minute trip from the city centre to Carew Park turned into a three hour epic when a driver didn’t show up for a shift.
Thirty-one people, 22 adults and nine children, who boarded the bus were stranded at a city centre bus stop.
"We got on the bus at 2.10pm. We were still there waiting for a driver at 4.20pm. We finally got into Carew Park at 4.57pm. This was just the last straw,” fumed resident Marie Feehan.
The majority were forced to walk or get a taxi when the driver didn’t show up. Eight people remained on board. The bus finally left at 4.23pm.
Marie says that seven university buses went past them in that time: "I know students need buses but so do the kids who are going to school and the people who need to make hospital and doctor’s appointments”.
When she complained, she was told that the driver hadn’t shown up for work.
Ms Feehan says that proper rosters and standby drivers have to be put in place.
She described the service to Carew Park as deplorable.
"The bus is supposed to come every half hour and we’d rarely see one in an hour. A taxi into town costs six or seven euro”.
Users of other routes have also cited complaints. One city centre resident, working in Castletroy, says the service is irregular and unreliable.
In one week alone, Darran King had to take a taxi to work three times at a cost of 10 euro each trip. He added that he and his colleagues were often reprimanded for being late.
"I’ve often waited up to an hour and a half for a bus both in the morning on William Street and in the evening in Castletroy. On one occasion, I walked from work in Castletroy to the city centre and was home before my co-workers who had waited for the bus,” Mr King said.
A resident of Lynwood Park added that she relies on the bus to pick her children up from school but has had to revert to a taxi on numerous occasions as the bus is "never on time”.
A Limerick based website has also launched a campaign to encourage bus users to make their voices heard and to complain to Bus Eireann on all issues from delays to dirty buses to rude drivers.
"This is YOUR service, are you happy waiting above and beyond the official timetable at an open air bus stop only to get on an overcrowded dirty bus? Save this number into your phone, call it every day if you must. Help them help us!” the website urges.
However, business development executive Paddy McGuinness, defended Bus Eireann’s position.
"One of the biggest problems is traffic congestion, particularly when the schools are on. We lose as many as 300 services per month due to traffic congestion alone,” he told the Limerick Post. "It can be very difficult at times to get buses moving around the city”.
He added that other eventualities, such as break downs, occasionally having to call off buses due to vandalism and drivers calling in sick, also had an affect.
However, he added that they do have standby drivers and employ private contractors during busy periods.
He added that the introduction of bus lanes would have a positive affect on the frequency of the service. He said that new routes were planned for Annacotty, Monaleen, Raheen, the Dock Road and Thomond Village, while the Coonagh and UL routes would also improve city services.
The Bus Eireann spokesperson added that complaints are welcomed. "Customers are our bread and butter,” Mr McGuinness said, adding that people can contact Bus Eireann on their general number or by filling in a complaint form at Colbert Station