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28-04-2012, 19:37   #211
Judgement Day
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??
Your seat and bk's.
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28-04-2012, 19:56   #212
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Your seat and bk's.
None of us can say where the future will take us or how we will get there!
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28-04-2012, 20:09   #213
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foggy_lad - I assume from your outburst that there will be two extra seats on Dublin/Cork services from now on?

Doubt it, he'd have to pay to use the Aircoach non-stop.
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29-04-2012, 00:05   #214
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Doubt it, he'd have to pay to use the Aircoach non-stop.
Do I not pay for the train and other buses when I use them? What is so different about the aircoach non stop service?
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29-04-2012, 10:34   #215
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bk it seems to me that you have a very simplistic attitude towards the railways along the lines of - the way CIE/IE operate the railways is bad therefore railways are bad per se. True?
False.

As I've said many times I like rail, I just don't think intercity rail is well suited to the geography and demographics of Ireland. I think it is a massive waste of money and now has no justification for wasting hundreds of millions of my and others tax payers subsidies.

I have no problem with my tax money going to subsidise services I don't need or use, if the service is socially or economically important and can't be delivered at a reasonable cost by private operators.

But that is no longer the case with intercity rail. The Bus coach is now just as fast, just as comfortable, a quarter of the cost to the traveler and zero cost to the taxpayer.

Given this I just can't see how IR or anyone can continue to justify a 200 million a year operating subsidy, plus hundreds of millions more in capital subsidies.


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Hanging about for a bus on Westmoreland Street and then negotiating a load of dangerous traffic for three hours on the road to Cork, with no possibility of properly stretching your legs or using the toilet doesn't appeal to me.
Dangerous!! what a load of BS. The motorway down was nearly empty of traffic and it isn't like rail has a perfect safety record, you know it isn't like rail bridges just collapse, oh wait they do!!

Stretching your legs, first of all Aircoach seats have loads of leg room, even more then the train, plenty of space to stretch out without getting up. They really are very spacious and comfortable seats, with all leather.

And nothing stopping you getting up and walking around to stretch your legs, they really are a very solid and smooth ride, much less bumpy then the train.

You are right about the toilets, but hopefully the GoBus service with toilets on board will resolve that issue.

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That said I'm happy that you're happy and will never take the train again - all the more space for those of us who prefer the faster, more comfy way of travelling - despite CIE/IE's best efforts.
Obviously I've hit a nerve with the rail fans!! I've done nothing but give a detailed and accurate review of this service, pointing out both it's pros and cons.

It is obvious some rail fans here are really scared about what sort of impact these services will have on the viability and future of rail.

BTW JD, do you even use intercity trains, you never mention that you actually do use these services?

I'm sure IR will be delighted when I and all my Corkonian friends living in Dublin stop using the train. Sure it will be brilliant, no work to do at all!!

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Originally Posted by foggy_lad View Post
Do I not pay for the train and other buses when I use them? What is so different about the aircoach non stop service?
You even pay for the trains when you don't use it, via your taxes and subsidies.

Last edited by bk; 29-04-2012 at 11:06.
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29-04-2012, 10:44   #216
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One thing, I really hope that Aircoach can get their marketing and pr act together and actually promote this service and drive some business to it, to make it a success.

I was shocked that they can't even get basic PR right, that when the new service launched, that there was no articles about it in the press and no mention of it on talk radio.

The launch so far seems almost like they don't care, they need to do a far better job, they are totally leaving BE and IR get off the hook with the lack of advertising.

In fairness to IR, they as much as fart and it gets national press and radio coverage, even if it does end up negative (e.g. the recent article about IR's inflexibility with taking a different train).

BTW Westmoreland St really is an excellent location, my bus into town stops literally across the road from it and I can sit in a nice warm pub or cafe until the bus arrives, no need to be milling about in the cold. Much better location then Hueston.

Last edited by bk; 29-04-2012 at 10:47.
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29-04-2012, 11:43   #217
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One thing, I really hope that Aircoach can get their marketing and pr act together and actually promote this service and drive some business to it, to make it a success.

I was shocked that they can't even get basic PR right, that when the new service launched, that there was no articles about it in the press and no mention of it on talk radio.

The launch so far seems almost like they don't care, they need to do a far better job, they are totally leaving BE and IR get off the hook with the lack of advertising.

In fairness to IR, they as much as fart and it gets national press and radio coverage, even if it does end up negative (e.g. the recent article about IR's inflexibility with taking a different train).

BTW Westmoreland St really is an excellent location, my bus into town stops literally across the road from it and I can sit in a nice warm pub or cafe until the bus arrives, no need to be milling about in the cold. Much better location then Hueston.
Bk makes a valid point re the strange almost inexplicably soft-launch of the Cork Express.

I am of the opinion that the issue is somewhat of an indication of how Aircoach (Irl) has slipped down the to-do list of FirstGroup plc.

I have little doubt but if the original Irish Aircoach Management Team were in place this service would have been marketed far more effectively and in a much more targeted manner.

The current First Group situation globally,is far from stable, this is demonstrated clearly by the lack of focus relating to what,in Irish public transport terms,is a major new initiative.

It's almost as if First Group plc don't really know what,in business terms, Aircoach Irl has been given.



Reading the various posts relating to the Cork-Express services,it's sad,but to be expected,that it rapidly dissolves into a CIE vs The Rest food-throwing contest.

I've no problem,as a Dublin Bus employee,in praising the new Express nauture of the service,equally I'd have no problem using it should it fit with whatever travel requirements I have on the day.

I'm far more concerned at whats NOT being attended to in relation to this (and other) NEW services introduced under the NTA's remit.

It's the basic infrastructural stuff which is being ignored here,that causes me so discomfort.

The Dublin Terminus,Westmoreland St,whilst suitable in location,has now become a Safety Nightmare for the pre-existing Dublin Bus city services expected to utilize the same Kerbline.

It defies belief that a group of Transport and Traffic "Professionals" could totally disregard the safety requirements of Low-Floor Wheelchair Ramp equipped City Service Vehicles (and their customers) by simply tacking-on new Long Dwell Coach Services at the same location.

At the very least,the NTA,The City Council and particularly,An Garda Siochana,should have been able to recognize the basic conflict between a Long Dwell Coach Stop vs a Short Dwell City-Service Stop.

I believe there are now 7,yes 7 different Bus Poles now standing at this Bus Bay.

7 different companies,with 7 different sets of access requirements,using a variety of vehicles some of maximum permitted length.

To expect all of these vehicles (and Drivers) to operate their respective duties safely in this environment is ridiculous,if not tantamount to reckless endangerment on the part of the authorities.

It is plain simple good safety practice to segregate the different pasenger groups and allow each to have their own dedicated kerb space.

None of the respective "Statutory Bodies" appears to have the stomach to isue a directive to reassign the Bus Bay Space on Westmoreland St.

At it's simplest,remove some of the Dublin Bus Westbound Routes altogether,as their other Stop along the College Wall is,IMO,close enough to utilize.

Then bring all of the Private Long-Dwell services forward to the vacated DB stops with the N7 bound ones to the front and the Airport bound ones nearest Fleet St.

This would free up the rearmost stops for DB use only and allow City Service drivers to avoid the dangerous conflicts which currently occur by the minute.

At the moment the entire City Centre area has been wilfully turned into a Health & Safety Minefield by the actions,or non-actions of what we traditionally recognized as the responsible agencies for Traffic and Transport regulation.

It now appears that the City Council and particularly The Gardai have been relived of these responsibilities in favour of redistributing them to a variety of independent agents,such as Taxi Drivers,Coach Operators,Tour Operators and anybody who wishes to erect a tent at a specific location.

It is particularly noticable that The Garda Traffic Corps have largely disappeared from the City Centre location,and that beat Gardai have no interest in enforcing any of the RTA's requirements.

There is a long running rumour that Gardai have been told to "Go easy" on the Taxi Fraternity in the face of a supposed,Cork City based,Supreme Court,Constitutional Challenge threat regarding the Taxi Deregulation process.

In the absence of any Official Garda statements on the non-enforcement of the RTA at high-profile locations in the City this rumour's veracity becomes greater by the day.
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29-04-2012, 12:04   #218
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Originally Posted by BanzaiBk View Post
Has anyone tried the express service at the 6pm time? Cork - Dublin? I'm debating about taking the 5pm or 6pm service to Dublin from Cork. I'll be meeting someone in Dublin airport at 10pm so the coach suits me better, just wondering how well they make time on the busier hours.
I think you already used the service, if not, please check one of my former messages in this thread, where I report about my recent Cort to Dublin express service at the same departure time.

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How often do long distance buses stop for toilets on the Continent or in the Americas?
I can only speak about long distance bus services in Spain, and not that much, as I have not used them a lot, or for very long distances (400 Km recently, although a decade ago I had to "enjoy" a 650 Km. non-express service). There is law, I think EU-wide, that forces bus drivers (and truck drivers FWIW) to have strict maximum driving times (4 hours with no rest), which are registered on the bus themselves automatically alongside with vehicle speed. Maximum allowd speeds for coaches in motorways is also 100 Km/h, so theoretically, any service at or below 350 Km. may not need a stop. But they usually stop at some specific spots.

For example, services from Madrid to Valencia and Alicante, around 350 - 400 Km. each, have a dedicated stop at some point about half the way there. It is a huge private resting area in the middle of nowehere where dozens of coaches stop for the drivers and the passengers alike to take some rest and some food. On my only 650 Km. bus ride I seem to remember there was only one stop (other than those for pick up or setting down passengers), and I think the trip took from 1am to 9 am, so fortunately most of us where sleeping, and no additional stops where needed.

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are they sticking to the speed limit for coaches?
I understand they do, at 100 Km/h on motorways and (can't remember) 80-90 Km/h on other roads. In fact, when getting out of Cork, there is a span where the motorway is more twisted and I felt the coach was going too fast, but my GPS told me I was wrong, 100 Km/h sharp with only minor (< 3 Km/h) variations above or below the figure.

What I can't tell is what speed the coach was going along the local road on our detour to Urlingford, as it felt quite faster than I would have liked to :-)
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29-04-2012, 13:00   #219
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Thanks Dardhal I did indeed read your posts I've used the service twice now at the 6pm time. Both days it arrived on time. I'm very pleased with the service and will be using it again next Friday!
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29-04-2012, 22:20   #220
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So to complete my review of the new Aircoach service, the Cork to Dublin leg.

Got the 6pm service from Cork, it was 95% full, so much better.

On the downside, while the bus was there, the driver didn't arrive until 6:02, start boarding 6:05 and leave until 6:15.

We arrived in Dublin at 9:15, so exactly 3 hours on a very wet and miserable night with terrible driving conditions, so I think we can see this service being very consistently 3 hours.

No stop for toilet break and the driver made it clear at the start of the journey that it was a non stop service.

While Patricks Quay in Cork is a fine drop off location, it isn't a great pick up place. Obviously there was a large crowd waiting on a very exposed and windy quay side. And while it is very close to Patrick St, unlike Westmoreland St in the Dublin side there is no coffee shop outside the stop to wait for the bus.

While I'm not sure a private coach station is necessary in Dublin (outside of the very good suggestions AlexSmart makes above), I think Cork could benefit from a private coach station like Galway. Or at very least a series of bus shelters along the quay and maybe a shop/cafe across the street.

The stopping location in Dublin, just around the corner from O'Connell St is a great location, close to lots of Dublin Bus routes, etc.

One thing I think there is a big gap in the schedule, the next direct service from Cork after 6pm is 1am. While it is great that there are late 1am and 4am services, I think it could really benefit from a 8pm service.

Interestingly Aircoach don't stop at Hueston, unlike GoBuses direct Galway service.

BTW passed a lovely looking GoBus double decker. Looked very new and shiny, looked like it had blue LEDs lights internally. Also looked absolutely full, so looks like the Galway service is doing well.
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29-04-2012, 23:57   #221
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Also a post mid way down here where Foggy Lad states that he is on a pension. This should entitle him his computer literate friend to a free pass.

http://www.thejournal.ie/social-welf...51727-Oct2011/

It would explain how he makes all of his wanderly wagon trips around Ireland selling his knick knacks off Advert.ie
So recieving a pension entitles one to free travel? Where do I sign up for this? and please stop with the personal abuse.
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30-04-2012, 00:21   #222
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Also a post mid way down here where Foggy Lad states that he is on a pension. This should entitle him his computer literate friend to a free pass.

http://www.thejournal.ie/social-welf...51727-Oct2011/

It would explain how he makes all of his wanderly wagon trips around Ireland selling his knick knacks off Advert.ie
I, and I'm sure many others are sick of this sniping. Stop.
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30-04-2012, 06:57   #223
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Jeez, some of you guys need to take a chill, it's the early days of the service and is most likely a soft launch with a full launch to happen when the staffing levels are right and everything is ready on all of the departures. Up until late last week the company was recruiting extra drivers for Cork and are likely to market the service when everyone is settled in their jobs.

Also I don't buy any of this doom-mongering about the situation with First, it is nowhere near as bad as some people are making out. From what I have heard there is a solid commitment to the company from the parent and they will do all they can to support the drive to improve the business here and I think those suggesting otherwise are merely whipping up a storm in a teacup.

As for those of you who claim you can do a better job, then if you have such great ideas why don't you pitch them to the company, or better still apply for the job of business manager at http://www.jobs.ie/ApplyForJob.aspx?Id=1169565 which has been created no doubt to assist with some of the reasons people have been complaining about. The very fact such job is advertising is proof that the company are reacting and addressing what they see as areas which could be further improved.
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30-04-2012, 14:42   #224
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Re: a coach terminal for Cork.

Would it not be better to have Cork City Council buy out the Parnell Place bus station and ensure Aircoach and others access to it based on a slot allocation system? Maybe some of the BE outer suburban services could shift elsewhere if they weren't transferring many passengers to Expressway or other intercity routes?

EDIT: Are the Deane St/Clontarf St properties behind PPBS still this much of a sh1thole or has any redevelopment happened since 2009 (which Google took these images)

Last edited by dowlingm; 30-04-2012 at 14:48.
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30-04-2012, 18:46   #225
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In other words BE are a typical CIE company. Do what suits the staff, not what suits the customer.
exactly. if they did start to care about the customers the unions would probably be up in arms. oh well
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