Shane Ross T.D., Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, has officially opened Go-Ahead Ireland’s new Ballymount, Dublin-based bus depot.
Joining Shane at the opening was David Brown, CEO of Go-Ahead Group (UK) and Anne Graham, CEO of Ireland’s National Transport Authority (NTA).
With the depot now open, Go-Ahead is set to take over 24 existing bus routes – 10% of the capital city’s network – beginning in early September.
The modern depot can support up to 500 colleagues and 250 buses, with sky lifts available for servicing the vehicles.
A drive-through bus wash has also been installed, along with the addition of a canteen, gym, showers, electric vehicle charging points and a cycle park area.
Shane said of the new depot: “This is an exciting time for public transport and particularly for those of us who travel by bus.
“Recently, I launched my part of the government’s Project Ireland 2040 -‘Linking people and places’, which will see investment of almost €25bn in our transport, tourism and sport infrastructure over the next 10 years. €8.6bn of this investment is specifically for public transport.
“We are planning major investment in programmes such as BusConnects which will involve a complete redesign of our Dublin Area Bus Network and 16 core bus corridors. The opening of the new bus depot today marks the next step in the bus market opening process.
“Introducing competitive tendering into the market encourages everybody to focus on their customer’s needs and we must place passengers at the centre of our public transport policy. It also encourages innovation and improvements to service quality. I am therefore delighted to welcome Go-Ahead into the Irish market and the creation of 425 local jobs and an €8.5m investment in its operation.”
Ed Wills, Managing Director of Go-Ahead Ireland also spoke at the opening: “The opening of the Go-Ahead Ireland depot is a key milestone for our operations in Dublin and we are very excited to see our colleagues and the new fleet of buses located in this modern facility.
“We are creating new jobs, investing in developing new skills and with the interest we have already received we are confident that there is a lot of interest in our company. We believe in working closely with the communities we serve and wish to provide a friendly service that our customers can rely upon.
“There have been a number of announcements made in relation to changes to the transport landscape in Dublin recently and it’s important that customers using the existing routes know that the Leap Card and Free Travel Cards can be used on all our buses; Real Time Passenger information will still apply, and fares will remain the same.
“The first difference people will see is that their bus will be operated by Go-Ahead Ireland and driven by our drivers. The second is the new Transport for Ireland livery which sports a blue, white and green design.”
Anne Graham, NTA CEO, added: “I welcome the opening of the Go-Ahead Ireland depot and the jobs that are being created here. I believe that Go-Ahead Ireland will bring a new dynamic to the PSO bus market, something that will ultimately be of great benefit to the travelling public.”
The new bus routes will serve communities from Balbriggan in North County Dublin to Newcastle in Co Wicklow. 1,721 bus stops are dotted along the routes, along which Go-Ahead’s vehicles will travel hundreds of thousands of kilometres each year.
The switch-over schedule
The planned switch-over schedule is as follows:
- 9 September 2018 Introduction of route 175 from Citywest to UCD
- 7 October 2018 45A, 75, 184, 63, 185, 111 and 59
- 18 November 2018 17A, 102, 33A, 220, 33B and 104
- 20 January 2019 18, 76, 239, 270, 238, 76A, 236, 17, 114 and 161
- 61 buses will transfer for use by Go-Ahead Ireland with a variety of ages ranging from one to four years old
- All will be re-branded in the new Transport for Ireland (TFI) livery
- 40 single-deck Euro VI buses
- 24 double-deck Euro VI buses
All will be operated by Go-Ahead Ireland and driven by Go-Ahead Ireland bus drivers.