According to a report in the Tribune, Dublin Bus has 4 percent fewer trips this year compared to last year. This amounts to tens of thousands fewer trips per day, and a great deal of lost revenue. This reduction in numbers is despite the fact that petrol prices have never been higher in the last year, and despite the fact that parking charges in the city centre are growing ever higher.
The most likely explanation is that Dublin Bus is feeling the effect of migrant workers leaving Ireland. The increase in bus passenger numbers in recent years was the result of immigrants, not the result of people leaving their cars behind.
The Department of Transport, which pays a large subsidy to Dublin Bus now has to accept that despite extensive marketing efforts, Dublin Bus management largely failed to entice drivers out of their cars. The problem is that the service DB provides just isn’t suited to the modern city and the modern commuter.
It’s not a capacity problem anymore. There is now overcapacity on Dublin’s Buses. Throwing more vehicles at the problem won’t solve anything. The whole public transport system of Dublin, in particular of the bus service that forms the core, needs to be completely redesigned to meet twenty-first century needs.
The government has already bailed out Irish banks. Now it has to do so again. The reason for this is that it wasn’t done properly the first time. The guarantee was simply no help. Although it provided liquidity (i.e., so that the banks could get a few euros on tick to carry on trading) it did nothing to deal with the losses that have resulted from the fall in the value of property and the resulting fall in value of the loans secured on property. The banks need capital invested in order to cover this.
Until they get the money, they won’t be able to lend money to businesses, and that will result in unnecessary bankruptcies and undermine whatever growth there is in the economy..Â I am just after hearing about a business that can’t raise a ten thousand euro overdraft – the lack of facilities will stop this business from growing. (Bill Cullen agrees with me, so obviously it must be true.)
So, my solicitors and I spent a day in Court with Swords Express, the public transport company I started to provide decent, fast transport to the people of Ireland’s biggest town last year. You only go to Court when there is something really big at stake, and you only go to Court with the government if you think you are very likely to get a favorable outcome. The costs involved are tremendous. The government has limitless resources and is not afraid to bring them to bear. Even for our one-day event and even though no evidence was heard in Court and the State decided to settle on the day, the costs will be into six figures, money which the taxpayer will end up having to pay.