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Dublin Live
Dublin Live
Rachel Butler

Lack of drivers and IT failure to blame for 'vanishing' buses in Dublin

Lack of drivers and IT system failures have been blamed for delays and cancellations services across Dublin.

The Joint Committe on Transport and Communications met in the Oireachtas this morning to deliver answers to the public on the issue of 'vanishing buses'. The two main reasons given for the poor services from Go Ahead and Dublin Bus were the lack of drivers as well as IT system failures in relation to real time information (RTPI)

Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said that, "the services have not been at the standard that we would like to provide and the NTA would like to apologise for that."

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When speaking about the inaccuracy of the RTPI, Ms. Graham said "the inaccuracy of data is due to the cancellation of services due to the lack of drivers and technical faults."

Andrea Keane, the acting chief executive and company secretary of Dublin Bus, said "unfortunately the technical issues experienced coincides with lack of drivers."

When asked about why the NTA did not foresee a lack of drivers, before it escalated to an emergency situation, Ms. Graham said "this particular challenge happened this summer. We did not think that we would be back up in numbers of people using buses as we are currently seeing. Lack of drivers is the principal reason."

Go Ahead said that during 2020 and 2021, they could not operate their driving school as they would have liked and this has contributed to the backlog in training new drivers.

Other topics such as the system failures, as well as the introduction of cashless payments were brought up in the meeting.

When asked why the RTPI can often display different information than that on the Dublin Bus or the TFI app, Ms Graham said "different feeds go to the system and to app and that’s just the way the system has been set up," adding that she hopes "we can rely on the system shortly."

The NTA also said that it will take a number of years before customers can pay for the bus with their card or apple pay on their phone.

"It requires the procurement of specific IT systems, that will take some time," Ms Graham said.

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