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Old 12th February 2017, 22:16   #16
robertclark125
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What you've said puts it into greater detail and understanding, and gives me better knowledge of the situation. There's clearly going to be no easy solution, and somewhere along the line, hopefully for everyones sake, a compromise is reached.
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Old 12th February 2017, 22:36   #17
F Great Eastern
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The other thing is the union is trying to now frame this in public as being something that will effect rural Ireland very hard, a lot of the public do not know the ins and outs of the system, or what the difference is between Bus Eireann PSO and Expressway, or the way licensing works so the unions are now trying to drive up mass hysteria and panic among the public for their own gain with very selective reporting of the facts to make the situation look very different to what there actually is.

Recently there was a union meeting advertised with a picture of a bus in a rural area that is in Full Bus Eireann colours used on rural services with a banner stating that people should come to the meeting to stop them losing their rural bus services, the thing is, the bus and any service operated under the Bus Eireann name is not even at threat since these services are protected from competition and are getting increased funding.

It's a little like the rail system in the UK, a lot of people do not understand how the rules and licensing works in reality, so the unions are trying to cash in on this, by stoking up fear in local communities that people will be left without a bus services unless something is done fast, then you have people making statements which sound very populist and good, but lack any understanding of what they are talking about and just repeating what they are spoon fed.

In essence what has been said is that BE can drop unviable stops or services at any time from their commercial routes, within licensing regulations, and the regulator will then put out to tender replacement services for areas which are left un-served or are not viable following route realignments. The problem is BE unions know there is a chance someone else could win this tender, which would lead to a loss of jobs.

The regulator sees the whole thing as an attempt to intimidate them by spreading fear among the public - you can see their view on the whole debate on Rural services below, essentially they have called the unions out for attempting to mislead the public, which is very strong.

https://www.transportforireland.ie/s...l-communities/

Last edited by F Great Eastern; 12th February 2017 at 22:37.
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Old 14th February 2017, 18:15   #18
F Great Eastern
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Bus Éireann has welcomed the invitation to exploratory talks in the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) with unions on February 15, 2017
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Old 14th February 2017, 20:03   #19
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The other thing is the union is trying to now frame this in public as being something that will effect rural Ireland very hard, a lot of the public do not know the ins and outs of the system, or what the difference is between Bus Eireann PSO and Expressway, or the way licensing works so the unions are now trying to drive up mass hysteria and panic among the public for their own gain with very selective reporting of the facts to make the situation look very different to what there actually is.

Recently there was a union meeting advertised with a picture of a bus in a rural area that is in Full Bus Eireann colours used on rural services with a banner stating that people should come to the meeting to stop them losing their rural bus services, the thing is, the bus and any service operated under the Bus Eireann name is not even at threat since these services are protected from competition and are getting increased funding.

It's a little like the rail system in the UK, a lot of people do not understand how the rules and licensing works in reality, so the unions are trying to cash in on this, by stoking up fear in local communities that people will be left without a bus services unless something is done fast, then you have people making statements which sound very populist and good, but lack any understanding of what they are talking about and just repeating what they are spoon fed.

In essence what has been said is that BE can drop unviable stops or services at any time from their commercial routes, within licensing regulations, and the regulator will then put out to tender replacement services for areas which are left un-served or are not viable following route realignments. The problem is BE unions know there is a chance someone else could win this tender, which would lead to a loss of jobs.

The regulator sees the whole thing as an attempt to intimidate them by spreading fear among the public - you can see their view on the whole debate on Rural services below, essentially they have called the unions out for attempting to mislead the public, which is very strong.

https://www.transportforireland.ie/s...l-communities/
By contrast, responsibility for local bus services in England is devolved to local authorities, who in many instances (e.g. Cumbria and Stoke-on-Trent) will not provide any subsidies for unremunerative services. Hardly anyone seems to care if such services are withdrawn - there are imminent by-elections in both Cumbria and Stoke in the next few days, but public transport provision is not an issue being discussed in either locality.
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Old 14th February 2017, 20:31   #20
F Great Eastern
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By contrast, responsibility for local bus services in England is devolved to local authorities, who in many instances (e.g. Cumbria and Stoke-on-Trent) will not provide any subsidies for unremunerative services. Hardly anyone seems to care if such services are withdrawn - there are imminent by-elections in both Cumbria and Stoke in the next few days, but public transport provision is not an issue being discussed in either locality.
The difference is that in the UK there are large number of commercial urban services within Towns and cities, look at how many buses, First, Stagecoach, G-Ahead and others run, I'd say 90% of their services are commercial, probably more than that.

Every single city bus route in the entire country of Ireland, apart from about 4 are in receipt of subsidy, because they are deemed as not being viable. They are also all ran by the same company, whether this is linked to each other, is something that has been open to debate and why a London style tendering system has been put forward to try and reduce the huge costs in providing a bus service.

There is one commercially run city bus route in the whole of Dublin. There are two in Limerick, another two in Waterford and 3 in Galway. Everything else is considered as requiting a PSO subsidy to be viable. Dublin Bus operates approx 1000 vehicles on over 100 routes. None of their city bus services are viable according to them and all make a loss.
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Old 14th February 2017, 21:31   #21
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Spreading this to Dublin Bus, I cannot help but wondering if both BE and DB need to look at whether some smaller, or perhaps not very busy routes, could be worked by things like an Optare Solo, or an E200. Certainly, tough negotiations with unions would be required. The plans for the remote end of the Dublin 84 group in 1988 came to nought. And the issues over the 120 to Cabra in 1993 led to a city wide strike. But, both firms need to look at how they can reduce the need for the public purse.
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Old 14th February 2017, 22:02   #22
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The trouble often with Dublin Bus is timetables take a good while to change, because when management propose a new timetable, after it is approved by the regulator, the working schedule (usually called a bill) then goes to a vote to the unions, and this can make a timetable change take a few months to process.

With regards to vehicles, there is also a Union Vehicle Design Committee, following a delivery of a vehicle, a new type of vehicle, or the order for a new vehicle type, or changes to a spec, it will need to be fully inspected by representatives of both the main unions before it can go into service, this is normally made up of union reps from all the garages.

The way buses have been acquired in the last 5 years or so has very much changed, previously to 2012 they used to be purchased by Dublin Bus either from their own funds or be working into the subsidy that they were given to operate the services. However the issue with such arrangement was that vehicle design was very conservative and stuck in the past, so to speak.

Even up until 2009, Dublin Bus still specified vehicles with bench seating, non painted handrails, No Wifi, one door, no stop announcements, no intergrated ticketing, no real time information, no information screens. Essentially the on bus environment had not changed one bit since the days of the Olympians, even if the newer buses were low floor, they were built to a very similar spec.

Essentially the regulator from 2012 said that they would no longer fund such vehicles and required a modernization of the on bus environment. As part of this the vehicles are now purchased by the regulator from it's own funds and are leased free of charge to Dublin Bus. This gave the regulator more power to dictate spec, and integrated ticketing, real time info, audio/visual stop information, individual seating, wifi, on board monitors, Full side LED displays and double doors.

However there is some controversy about this as far as the unions are concerned because the unions believe that Dublin Bus should be able to specify it's own vehicles and given it's own funding to buy what they want. However the regulator has the approach that if they are going to invest significant amount of taxpayers money into the company, they should have a say on how that money is spent.

There is some talk of some Streetlites being delivered to Dublin Bus later this year, however that is not confirmed and is very much a rumour at the moment. Over the last few years Bus Eireann have took delivery of a number of Wright double deckers, Mercedes Citaro single deckers and Wright Single deckers, all government funded.
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Old 14th February 2017, 22:20   #23
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when you look back in the 1990s, in Dublin, at the City Swift and City Imp concepts, both were successful. However, both were also controversial in their implementation. The conversion of the 39 to City Swift had a few false starts, and I believe caused a strike at Phibsborough garage. The city imp idea got off to a good start on the 83. I think the issue affecting the 20A going to City imp as 120 was, unlike the 83, which had been a dying route, patronage was falling, the 20A was a growing route.

It has to be said though, there are a few diagrams at Dublin Bus that could easily be worked by single deckers. However, they have recently tried a smaller bus on a demonstration basis.

Bus Eireann only dabbled in the minibus concept, particularly Limerick. Maybe a rethink is needed. Some routes, which in CIE days were KR class operated, perhaps could now be worked by minibuses.
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Old 14th February 2017, 22:22   #24
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The imps on some routes were also a victim of their own success.

For example the WVs lived on far far too long on some routes, like the 123.
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Old 14th February 2017, 22:46   #25
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You mention the 123, Marino - Drimnagh. It went from 25 seater 709Ds to 32 seat 811Ds, then the B6LEs in 2000. It may be though that some smaller routes could use single deckers, as opposed to double deckers.

I have to admit, I just wonder if this dispute at Bus Eireann could bring into question the whole future of CIE.
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Old 15th February 2017, 07:48   #26
daodao
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There is one commercially run city bus route in the whole of Dublin.
That is incredible, in a city of over 1 million with massive traffic congestion. There is only a case for subsidising bus services in rural areas, in both the UK and Eire.
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Old 15th February 2017, 08:27   #27
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That is incredible, in a city of over 1 million with massive traffic congestion. There is only a case for subsidising bus services in rural areas, in both the UK and Eire.
I'm not sure how "massive traffic congestion" means that nothing should be subsidised. The Irish don't always have to copy what the British do, i.e. give up on the bus as a tool to cut congestion. How about using public money to cut that traffic congestion by investing into local transport like they do in most of Europe?

The good news is that money is actually available but the problem is that Dublin Bus are wasting it due to inefficiency. Implement competitive tendering to cut costs with rewards/sanctions for good/bad performance. Put the cash saved into better reliability, better integration with other modes, better bus priority, better cycling etc. and follow European best practice.
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Old 15th February 2017, 08:50   #28
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That is incredible, in a city of over 1 million with massive traffic congestion. There is only a case for subsidising bus services in rural areas, in both the UK and Eire.
There is in my view a case for subsidising in towns as well - but not if all that gets you is what Stagey or First will do you commercially.
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Old 15th February 2017, 10:47   #29
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I'm not sure how "massive traffic congestion" means that nothing should be subsidised. The Irish don't always have to copy what the British do, i.e. give up on the bus as a tool to cut congestion. How about using public money to cut that traffic congestion by investing into local transport like they do in most of Europe?

The good news is that money is actually available but the problem is that Dublin Bus are wasting it due to inefficiency. Implement competitive tendering to cut costs with rewards/sanctions for good/bad performance. Put the cash saved into better reliability, better integration with other modes, better bus priority, better cycling etc. and follow European best practice.
As we know, without reducing bus running times, the only ways to reduce costs are reducing driver pay or increasing hours, and fuel consumption. What this means is that Dublin actually needs to spend on bus lanes/priority junctions etc before they will get the savings. Personally, I am not convinced that privatisation and competition is a necessity, even if (repeatedly) it has been used as a tool to manage pay!

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Old 15th February 2017, 10:51   #30
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That is incredible, in a city of over 1 million with massive traffic congestion. There is only a case for subsidising bus services in rural areas, in both the UK and Eire.
The first operator was Circle Line - there was a court case in relation to alleged unfair competition from Dublin Bus flooding the corridor with taxpayer buses in front and behind them to weed them out I believe that this was settled before it went to the courts so we will never know what really happened and if this was true or not though.

The one existing right now is Swords Express which continues to grow year on year and now is a pretty large operation. However they had a rough start to life, with lots of allegations of unfair practice, legal action by management, taking the Department of Transport to Court, Judicial Reviews and a number of other things.

Essentially, it was these things which led to a regulator being formed in the first place, until then it was very much hands off regulation by the department of transport, who itself was prone to strong political interference, at the time, so an independent regulator was set-up, to try and overcome these kind of issues and be an independent/passenger voice.

The only other commercial services in Dublin are those that serve airports, and they are restricted to transfer people to or from airports only, they cannot transfer people to intermediate stops. All journeys have to end or start at the airport or the operator will be in breach of their license and will get it revoked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by radamfi View Post
I'm not sure how "massive traffic congestion" means that nothing should be subsidised. The Irish don't always have to copy what the British do, i.e. give up on the bus as a tool to cut congestion. How about using public money to cut that traffic congestion by investing into local transport like they do in most of Europe?
Dwell times are a massive problem on Dublin Bus. A 60 minute journey can involve up to 15-20 minutes dwell time, if you solved this instantly you can bring

This is due to the complicated fare system and drivers refusal to use multiple doors when provided on the bus, the former of which is due to issues between the companies at the regulator, the later of which is a union thing.

Quote:
Implement competitive tendering to cut costs with rewards/sanctions for good/bad performance. Put the cash saved into better reliability, better integration with other modes, better bus priority, better cycling etc. and follow European best practice.
This is what the regulator is attempting to do. However the unions will not accept it and are trying to do a lot to circumvent it or make the tendering system as such that it will not be attractive to both the government and any potential commercial operators, such as for example they want assurances that staff in the commercial companies tendering will be paid same rate as them and will have to build their own depots.

There are also lots of scare stories being spread like, if private companies win tenders they will only run during peak times like the UK, they won't take free bus passes, they will refuse to run in rural areas, they will charge higher fares and will run vehicles which are too small for purpose and that people will be stranded and will no longer have a bus service.

The thing is, the model that has been proposed is that the regulator sets timetables, fares, running times, standards of service, what bus passes are accepted and the winning tenderer does not have a say in this. However the unions are trying to portray something totally different to the public, and saying it will be like the UK and pointing to something closer to full de-reg.;

The most recent example of spin from the union side is claim that the regulator is "fining" public operators when they are on strike or do not run services. This is not happening, what is happening is that the company is not paid any subsidy for journeys or days where the company does not operate.

This has resorted in the regulator coming out saying that they will not allow themselves to be pushed into a position where they are being forced to discharge their duties with fear or favour.

Last edited by F Great Eastern; 15th February 2017 at 10:52.
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