Students depend on a regular bus service to get to DCU.

Students of DCU calling on Bus Éireann to resume pre-pandemic 109A service to the north Dublin college

Meath students of Dublin City University are calling on Bus Éireann to resume its pre-pandemic 109A service to the north Dublin college.

The failure by the National Transport Authority and Bus Éireann to reinstate the 109A bus services to DCU has been described as disgraceful, as local representatives point out it was a widely used service.

The call comes as it emerged there are no plans for additional services to be implemented to DCU on resumption of the college terms later this month.

Prior to the Covid pandemic there had been buses to DCU every 20 minutes or so throughout the day, during term time.

Sean Somerville from Dunshaughlin is starting first year in DCU on 25th September and has been shocked at the lack of service.

"There are quite a few of us from Dunshaughlin who have accepted places in DCU.

"I have been told that there is a service in term time, but we haven't been able to find any timetable for it yet.

"If I don't use this service it will take a combination of two buses and a ten minute walk to get to college. That would mean a 120 minute journey there and back.

"It is impossible to get accommodation close to the college, so students like me are commuting. We need a full bus services. We want Bus Éireann to restore the service to pre-pandemic levels.

Cllr Damien O'Reilly said: “There are a lot of DCU students in Meath that rely on these buses, especially now when there is such a student's accommodation crisis in Dublin.”

"It doesn't make sense that there is such a limited service. Students attending college need more flexibility.

Minister Thomas Byrne raised the issue with Bus Éireann and was told there were no plans for additional services to be implemented to DCU on resumption of the college terms in September.

Cllr Paul McCabe has described the lack of action from the National Transport Authority and Bus Éireann on this issue as disgraceful.

He has been campaigning for some time for the return of the 109A to their pre-Covid routes, serving the DCU campus. He previously tabled motions at county council meetings and engaged directly with the Chief Executive of the NTA, Anne Graham.

"While accepting that there were significant challenges faced by the 109A service in terms of punctuality – it is not acceptable that the NTA together with Bus Éireann would unceremoniously cut the direct hourly services to DCU – rather they have implemented a new timetable incorporating two morning and two evening services to DCU. This revised timetable doesn’t take account of the informality of student and university life. Courses and classes and university life doesn't operate within the confines of 9am and 5pm.

"These four services represent a detrimental downgrading of this really popular service across county Meath.

"The 109A service was the only option available to Meath students attending DCU. In fact DCU has previously marketed itself to prospective Meath students as just a bus journey away – this is no longer the case. Students are now being asked to use other connecting services outside of the so called 'core times'.

"Figures provided to me by DCU provide striking empirical evidence regarding the significant outflow of students from the county every year. Well over 10 per cent of the student population at DCU is from Meath.

"Bus Éireann and the NTA need to get real and reinstate the full DCU element of the 109A bus service," he said.

Bus Éireann has been approached for comment.