The new Busconnect plan will be a disaster for Dublin. It was drawn up by a Canadian consultant with no previous knowledge of the area – and it shows. The new plan promises shorter journey times and increased investment, but the real agenda is to prepare for future privatisation.
Last year Dublin Bus carried 140 million passengers – or nearly 70% of all journeys around the city. This is a vital public service that goes right through the heart of local communities – but under the new plan there will be less buses going through housing estates.
Instead, many people will have to make their way to busier (more profitable) routes before switching buses. This will increase overall travel times and make it more difficult for older people, those with prams, those with mobility issues and school goers.
People Are Mobilising
Already across Dublin, local communities are organizing. It will take people power to stop this- the ‘Irish Water’ of Public Transport. People Before Profit are already hosting a series of meetings across Dublin, with the aim to build a bigger campaign to stop this.
|The Civic Centre||Tues 4th Sept, 7.30pm||
|Rathcoole||The Old Library, Main Street||Tues 4th Sept, 7.30pm||
|Ringsend/Irishtown||Ringend & Irishtown Community Centre||Wed 5th Sept, 7.30pm|
|Marino||Carleton Hall Marino||Mon 10th Sept, 8.30pm||Speakers:
-Dublin Bus Driver
-Cllr. John Lyons
|Finglas||St Helena’s Resource Centre||Tues 11th Sept, 7.30pm||Speakers:
-SIPTU Dublin Bus rep.
-Cllr. Andrew Keegan
|Ballinteer||St. John’s GAA Club||Wed 12th Sept, 7.30pm||Speakers:
Cllr Dave O’Keefe
Tom O’Connor (National Bus & Rail Union Representative)
If you would like to see a BusConnects meeting in your area, text ‘BUS’ to 085 8585 219, of contact us here.
The plan is also weak on new investment.
- The National Transport Authority have promised a more frequent service, but Dublin Bus will have less buses than it had in 2009 despite carrying more passengers.
- They are also cutting the public subvention. In 2008, Dublin Bus got €85 million to operate its services, but last year this was cut to just €47 million. This sets the company up to fail – opening the door to the private sector.
- The NTA are already privatizing 10% of the routes. This year 10% of Dublin Bus routes have been given to a private company from England (Go Ahead) even though the private company is charging 5% more.
This plan is designed to create more profitable buses by a National Transport Authority that is already privatizing the service. We can do much better.Instead of spending money on a corporate model we would,
- Invest in 500 new buses. The €2 billion earmarked for Busconnect should be spent on the existing fleet. Increasing the fleet from 1,000 – 1,500 would increase the frequency of the service without taking buses from local communities.
- Cut fares by 50%. To really encourage people out of cars we should build proper bus lanes and cut the cost of public transport by 50%. That would cut journey times and the cost of travelling.
- End the Privatisation. Buses are a public service that should not be sold to the private sector. This just cuts wages and conditions, forcing a race to the bottom.