WATCH: BusConnects G-Spine Rollout

Full Transcript:

Deputy Costello: The G-spine promised an improvement of about 20% for Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard. We’ve seen the same problems that everyone is highlighting declining service, ghost buses and buses full driving past bus stops. We’ve talked a lot about the lack of bus drivers, but I want to dig in more into the timing, the running times of the route, because it’s my understanding the drivers are saying now and have warned before that the running times were inadequate which is what leads to poor service but also would indicate poor planning.

So one of the knock ons of this is services are being redirected so that a bus will bypass a large chunk of it’s route or will bypass Ballyfermot, so that it can be in time in the G-spine at its Spencer Dock terminus, which leads to the ghost buses, which leads to the RTPI being inaccurate. So all these problems we’re talking about, there’s a much deeper thing than a lack of drivers. So what I would like to know is how were the running times calculated? Who decides them and on what basis? What feeds into that decision? Were the drivers consulted? The people who actually know these routes, were they consulted? What can be done now if the things like congestion impacting on the running times, what can be done now to improve bus priority?

But then also one of the issues here is that if the running times are too short, are we adequately accounting for driver welfare when we’re coming up with these running times? Are we giving the driver’s enough time at the end to find a toilet? To stretch their legs? We know that sitting for too long is a problem. You know, is driver welfare adequately factored into the running times?

You mentioned earlier, there were problems with the running time on the C-Spine. The opposite, that they are too long. So it seems to me there is a problem with how these running times are calculated and are you looking at reforming that process or improving that process? Equally I would agree with some of the comments the Deputy Smith made, particularly when we see that this kind of messy thing between setting the running times, recruiting the drivers, providing the bus and then back to someone else to set the timetable when you’ve two or three agencies trying to decide this problem, no wonder there’s mistakes being made but will you be looking at pushing ahead the rollout of the Spines, without the core bus corridors facilitating the Spines to run smoothly. I think it was a questionable decision, but certainly will you be looking at improving the running time? Will you be consulting more with the the drivers who are perhaps the experts at the running times since they are the ones driving the actual buses.