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.