Commuters vent their anger at Bus Éireann chief
Bus commuters from across the county outlined their frustration at the poor level of service they are getting from Bus Éireann to the company's CEO Ray Hernan at a public meeting in Ratoath last week.
Minister Regina Doherty who organised the meeting said that while people left the meeting with a list of explanations, they didn't go away with any more confidence than they came in with that the service would improve.
Minister Doherty said communication from the company had been “appalling” and they were told that a new communications manager would be working on a communications strategy.
She also said a customer survey will be carried out with bus users over a three week period by an independent company, and that 200 new drivers are being recruited to staff routes.
Minister Doherty said issues with the real time timetable information were also raised.
“There has been a problem with bus services in Meath for more than half a year. Bus Éireann have told me repeatedly that services have improved, but people I meet, and people who contact me by email and Facebook suggest that the service remains unreliable.
“The problem services are primarily the 103, 103X 105, 105X, 109 and the 109A. These are services that daily commuters rely on to get to and from work, university and hospital appointments.”
Speaking after the meeting, a Bus Éireann spokesperson said: "The company acknowledged that while there had been some service levels issues on greater Dublin area routes, work is taking place to remedy these.
"Growing congestion in the capital is impacting on inbound and outbound journey times and driver shortage has led to some resource issues. A lack of bus priority, and traffic signalling in Ashbourne, is also impacting services."
In response to these challenges, the spokesperson said Bus Éireann has undertaken a campaign of punctuality improvement and are reviewing journey speeds with the National Transport Authority with a view to making best use of bus lanes and they have recently launched a campaign to recruit 200 news drivers, which has had over 1,000 applications.
"The company have also commenced a major customer project that will include passengers as participants and are working with local stakeholders such as Meath Co. Co. to improve traffic signalling.
"Management will take on board feedback from the meeting in Ratoath, and will report back on further improvements in the coming months.”