From Wednesday 1 September, Dublin Bus moved to re-instate full capacity on board its vehicles for the first time since March 2020, thanks, Chief Executive Ray Coyne said, to the ‘speed and success’ of Ireland’s vaccination programme.
“The move to 100% on-board capacity is something Dublin Bus has sought for several months,” he said. “Our operational data has shown customer demand returning strongly. At the same time, I’ve heard directly from other business leaders about the challenges posed by capacity restraints on public transport. Now with schools, colleges and in-office work returning (in some form) we only expect this demand to increase. So, now is the right time to return services to full capacity.
“I know this will be a big change for existing customers as well as those returning to our services for the first time in a long time. The reality is that, yes, people will sit beside you on the bus. I want all customers to know that Dublin Bus will never take shortcuts when it comes to safety. From fleet to Covid-19 protocols ours is a business with an embedded and deep-rooted culture of safety. Since the onset of the pandemic we have led the way in introducing additional safety measures. They include an enhanced daily cleaning regime which includes the sanitising of frequently touched surfaces on board, an extended cleaning regime including inter-peak cleaning at depots and terminus points throughout the city, and installation of hand sanitiser units on board.
“In this year of crisis, providing an essential service to those who depend on public transport whilst protecting the health and safety of customers and employees has been our urgent and abiding consideration. But that does not mark the full extent of what we can do as a company and it does not mark the full extent of what Dublin Bus intends to do.
“Looking to the future I want what everyone else wants – the pandemic in the rear-view mirror so we can get on with the job of work at hand. We will, in partnership with the National Transport Authority, continue to deliver the BusConnects network redesign. We will introduce new 24/7 services and continue the journey to a zero-emission fleet. So, we have exciting times to look forward to.
“Finally, to our returning customers – thank you for your patience and welcome back!”