Take the Letterkenny service. It's frequently very busy and the evening services often require several buses. The problem is that BE inspectors seem unwilling to vet passengers and direct those going all the way on the first or second buses. They could then travel non stop (with break in Monaghan),arrive early and everyone is happy. As the bus/buses are full leaving Busaras, they can leave the pick-ups for the following drivers.It's frustrating to share a long haul bus with those who only intend to go to Collon or Ardee!
Is there a valid reason why they don't do this?
The only reason I can come up with about the Letterkenny service taking the "shorts" is that BÉ are so greedy:
1. Prepared to take the chance and cram all and sundry onto the one bus and only get another bus if and when required (much more of an issue now since the airport is attracting a lot of business).
2. Getting to take all the short distance passengers travelling between the little towns along the way.
Only on certain occasions in the past (particularly Fridays and Sundays) would there be a private bus lined up to help the service bus, usually only as far as Monaghan. Up until the end of August last year Bus Eireann could get some overflow "short" passengers onto the Derry bus which usually departed at the same time. The timetables changed in September 2006 and the Derry and Letterkenny no longer ran together. Since then the Ulsterbus service seems to operate a no nonsense policy regarding "shorts", the first set down point being Aughnacloy in Co Tyrone, whilst the Letterkenny service meanders up the road via Ardee by pass and Castleblayney.
Bus Eireann don't realise that they need a good hourly local service to Monaghan (like the Cavan and Dundalk services) calling at all the towns en route and then leave the Letterkenny bus to the Letterkenny and Lifford people. Apply that similar principle all over the country, then everyones happy.
Regarding the vetting of passengers, they used to do this. The drivers did it occasionally, getting all the Lifford and Letterkenny folk. I think it became too tiresome and buses were getting delayed trying to "sort" passengers out who, maybe were first in the line and only going to Ardee were
entitled to get on that bus, and in reality were being made to wait for another bus, or get on the bus last which they arrived for first. Its all a minefield...