I was wondering if anyone gets the Dublin to Cork Bus Éireann service regularly and knows anything about their non stop service. I got a bus down before (at 6PM I believe) and they had two buses leaving at the same time: One took the motorway all the way to Cork without stopping and the other one passed through all the little towns on the way. I'd like to be able to get the non-stop one again, unfortunately there's nothing mentioned about this service on the website.
It would be great if someone could confirm that they still run this, and if they run it earlier in the day as well (day off tomorrow so I might get a mid afternoon bus). If they don't, I'll just get the train as last time I got a service with intermediate stops, I spent 6 and a half hours on the bus
I'm not sure if this is a formal service or just something they do when they know they will need two buses in advance. A few years ago I used to get the Galway - Dublin bus reasonably regularly and at busy times when there were two busses leaving at the same time there would be one that took a direct route and a second that took the normal indirect route.
This does happen often, but not necessarily on a predictable basis. They will do it where they have the capacity and expect the number of passengers to exceed the available seats.
If the scheduled service is depart Dublin 1800, arrive Cork 2215, both buses will leave Dublin at 1800. If there are more passengers for Cork than will fill a bus, it will operate express to Cork, stopping only for a refreshment break halfway. If there are not enough passengers for Cork than will fill a bus, it will add passengers for Watergrasshill, Fermoy, etc. and operate express to the first one (stopping for the refreshment break). The other bus will provide a stopping service as scheduled. Alternatively, each bus will stop at a limited number of stops and swop passengers at the refreshment break or when they meet at some point further on. Many long distance buses don't stop between Dublin and Portlaoise these days anyway.
The worst I've seen is the bus via Clonmel stopping at someone's driveway to drop them off.
Is there some time limit to when the bus must stop for a break? I would have thought an express service could do it in one go.....or do they swap drivers half way perhaps?
Otherwise the smokers would be going bananas.
Plus 4+ hours (depending on traffic) without going for a pee is difficult for a lot of people.
Citylink (Galway - Cork and Galway - Dublin) dont stop for a break like that and sometimes the ole bladder was quite full when you get there, especially when you're stuck in Limerick traffic for an hour.
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?
I've heard it announced in Busaras well in advance of departure on occasions (as early as 5.30) that one bus will serve Fermoy, Mitchelstown and Cork and another bus will do the rest of the road.
But I suppose the number of stops before Cork just depends on the estimated loadings.
This was quite normal until recently. However it relied heavily on 2 buses reaching the same place roughly around the same time. In reality that didn't always happen.
A bus driver can legally drive for 4h 30m without a break. I'm not sure how many could actually wait that long, never mind the passengers! Although theres no stipulation how long a passenger can be expected to sit, the norm seems to be that the longest runs (eg, Dublin to Cork, Galway, Limerick,Sligo, Letterkenny and Derry) will have a 15 minute "wee and tea" break built in so the driver won't fall foul of the EU driving limits. The medium distance runs as I would call them, like Belfast and Waterford have no official comfort stop but have places where you can get a quick breather if the bus is on time, like Newry and Carlow respectively.
I think they might want to just balance the loading, such that each bus will take a similar amount of time and the first bus packed and the second one near empty. Also consider people in say Castleblaney who might be upset when they see the Letterkenny bus not stopping for them. That said, many buses not have "Bus full, another bus following" or similar signs on the LED display. It should be relatively easy. Once the decision is made to provide an extra bus, every passenger for the furthest destination should be encouraged to use the express, then the passengers for the next destination and so on. Eventually, the bus will fill and you can divide the last bunch of passengers between the two.
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...
In fairness, some drivers used to announce that they only wanted passengers travelling to Letterkenny or Lifford.
To be fair there are few if any long distance bus operators anywhere that will put on as many extra buses as they have to at any time to cater for demand. Yes you ended up on a bus that wasn't exactly comfortable for a long trip but with any other operation I can think of either you have to book in advance to ensure a seat or if you arrive 10mns before departure and all the booked transport is full then tough.
I do fully agree with you though that on runs where it is obvious that multiple buses are going to be used that they should seperate the long-distance passengers out and send them non-stop. To be fair it happens more often than not but with certain routes that are not usually doubled it seems to very much depend on the individuals running the show at any one time in Busaras.
Many runs are booked for 2 or more buses and they would usually be assigned before loading.
Stark, to answer your question most Dulin-Cork runs are booked for two coaches with one running quick (Pick-up Dublin only, set-down Cork only or perhaps Mitchelstown and Fermoy as well) and the other serving all the intermediate stops but there is no guarantee this will happen. Fridays are usually busy from early afternoon onwards.
If it took 6.5hrs in the past it was due to serious traffic problems, without bad traffic the booked time of 4h20 is usually made.
The longest a driver can legally drive without a break is 4h30m so Dub-Cork could be done non-stop. However all Bus Eireann services stop for 10-20mns at Urlingford for a toilet/refreshment break.
The reason that the timetables do not list the services with express buses is that BE only have a licence for their current timetable and in the case of Dub-Cork any attemt to change it is met with complaints from their competition and a refusal from the DOT.
Thanks, by non stop I meant without intermediate stops as opposed to without a single break at all. I don't think my bladder could handle that
Ah, that sucks.
Are BÉ drivers rostered to do the full Dublin-Cork run or do they swap coaches at Urlingford & return to base? Dublin-Cork-Dublin would be a tough days driving.