Under new privatisation plans due to be announced by the National Transport Authority (NTA) later today, certain Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann routes will be sold off to private operators over the coming years.
More than 20 Dublin Bus routes and some 14 Bus Éireann routes will be opened up to private bus operators from 2016 under new plans set to be announced by the NTA today.
The routes that will be up for grabs include some orbiting Dublin city, some local Dublin Bus services and Bus Éireann commuter routes to the capital. Some routes in Waterford will also face privatisation under the new plans.
According to the Irish Times, the Bus Éireann routes that will be up for grabs include services around Waterford and commuter routes from Dublin to Tullamore, Newbridge, Portlaoise, Kildare and Athy.
Students studying in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) may see a new public transport service provider by 2016 as a number of routes including the Waterford to Tramore route will be included in the packages for tender.
The Dublin Bus routes affected don’t go directly into the city centre, so it’s only orbital and local routes, such as Chapelizod to The Square in Tallaght and Dublin Airport to Skerries, that will be included in the packages for tender.
Speaking about the new tenders, Fianna Fáil’s Transport Spokesperson Timmy Dooley said: “I think the first thing that’s very clear is that Fine Gael have outwitted the Labour Party in relation to the privatisation of bus services.
“This has been something that the Labour Party have prided themselves [on] for quite some time that they would ensure that there wouldn’t be a privatisation regime of the public transport service – they’ve obviously lost that battle.”