Dublin Bus workers stopped for a minute outside Dublin Bus Head office as they marched towards the Dáil starting the first of two planned 48-hour strikes. The dispute is over a plan to put 10% of bus routes out for private tender. The workers are concerned that if more routes are opened up to the private sector in the future, it could trigger a deterioration in the pay and conditions of members.
A privatised route will have to generate income and to do so can only increase fares and / or lower wages. We have seen this for refuse collection since 2001. Taking the city as a whole, the private tendering of these ‘orbital’ routes is a testing ground for more extensive privatisation on other, more lucrative, routes in the years to come.
A private operator is not going to want to compete on one route but on many across the entire network. If a route is operated by a profit-driven company, the license to service the route will need to stipulate the regularity of the service. A route that runs at peak times only and does not operate outside of this peak defies categorisation as a social good.
Ours fears for privatisation is that there will be a focus on running a bus only on that exact slot in the schedule that will be busy. There is little assessment of the route within the system as a whole. Having operated a route for perhaps two years, private operators will be back at the minister’s office door arguing for access to these more lucrative routes.
Photo taken at about 7.45am. Dublin Bus from North Dublin to the city centre. Same story every morning, get to bus stop early and there’s already a dozen people there. Bus shows up full, wait half an hour for next bus. Late for work. Oh well, get up earlier tomorrow. Earlier bus is full, late for work again. Shouldn’t take two hours to travel seven kilometers, Google maps says it should take 17 mins in a car. There’s a bus stop right next to my house I can never use because the traffic is so congested on that route it takes over two hours just to reach Busárus.
If I can figure out we need an extra bus for the morning rush then how come Dublin Bus cant get around to it? Been this way for years now. My guess is lack of funding but the driver claims theyre already overstretched and most drivers do more hours than the union allows.
Will be cycling come February….
His actions – caught on camera – outraged the Broadsheet reading public.
Now he talks.
Sean Mac Labhrás writes:
I own those feet, legs, and shoes referred to above. They were on public display for just five minutes yesterday.. in my defence, can I refer to the following mitigation:
1. The feet were folded and tucked as far away as possible from potentially aghast commuters. 2. Said feet were on view briefly, while looking aimlessly down on O’Connell Street-and then quickly reunited with said loafers. 3. The seat on the upstairs of the double decker is the only seat in which there is some legroom to stretch after a day’s toil. 4. The large window adjacent to the seat was opened by me 5. I have an issue with sore heels, and therefore putting the feet up – temporarily -is under strict medical orders 6. Both feet take active part in a daily shower, while socks are committed a diurnal rotation too. (Today’s striped number are settling in nicely this morning). This would cut down on any noisome emissions that could be in any way construed as toxic to civil society. 7. The Ecco loafers are a must for sensitive feet – as are the M&S cords for a man, who contrary to speculation is married with two kids. 8. I am 5ft 10ins, but the sly shot from my bus neighbour didn’t demonstrate this
There are far worse experiences on Dublin Bus, compared to a feet-up, viz, in no particular order, bar number one
1. People taking surreptitious photos of other people on the bus and then sending the image and appalled mini-editorial to Broadsheet… 2. People, like our friend above, glued to their smartphone or tablet via their eyes and ears like zombie passengers. Dublin Bus is fast resembling a ghost ride with the number of such addicts…although it is nice to see the very odd person actually reading a book, or knitting while travelling 3. People who eat a large Subway sandwich or McDonalds without opening the window or without looking in any way apologetic for same! ( pot, black etc) 4. People, invariably at the back, talking about their upcoming court case, prison sentence, drug bust or …. the best modus operandi when robbing bikes from a gated apartment complex 5. Middle-class mums who talk, unashamedly, about making “smoked fish canapés” for the kids on Christmas day 6. The change of driver lark as the bus is nearing the city centre. Most galling is when the new driver isn’t waiting for the actual driver at the scheduled swop-stop for the latter’s union break. 7. Weekly fares increases on Dublin Bus, enough said. 8. Hordes of testosterone-fuelled schoolboys post 3.30pm on any route 9. Hordes of Spanish students who invade the bus fleet during the summer 10. Finally, bus drivers who disdainfully pull off from the stop, just as you arrive at their door, coughing your spine up from all the running you have done to reach it 11. ….I could go on