You will all be happy to know the issues now appear to be fixed so you grammar nazi's can sleep easily tonight.
The PDF also now works:
It is easier to read than the website, which should hopefully help the people who are unable to make out the table on the site.
There is no room for any other operator on this route now.Aircoach has actualy planned all this very well.They are head to head on bus eireanns times which will guarantee them all dublin/cork bound "Bus Eireann" passengers and they have the multi stop at the other hour.Irish rail run on the half hour so whoever the other operator is supposed to be i wouldnt fancy their chances.The passenger flow isnt there for half hour services and First will put resources on this if needs be, that no operator here or in the UK could even imagine.
I was of the impression that this new transport authority was goin to be the bee's Knees.Why would they flood this route with licences again where its sufficiently serviced with bus eireann and aircoach already?
double jeopardy what a load of bull.
If Galway can sustaining three operators operating four routes in addition to rail, then there is plenty of room in Cork for similar:
Gobus hourly direct
CityLink hourly direct
CityLink bi-hourly stopping
Bus Eireann bi-hourly stopping
Cork currently has:
Aircoach bi-hourly direct
Aircoach bi-hourly stopping
Bus Eireann bi-hourly stopping
So you see there is plenty of space for a third operator. If GoBus even put on a hourly direct service, there would still actually be less services then to Galway! So plenty of room for another operator to our second largest city.
GoBus shouldn't have much trouble competing, with their onboard toilets and superior website and advertising, they shouldn't have much trouble against Aircoach, BE and IR. Given that they successfully compete in Galway against CityLink, who are frankly far more aggressive and savvy then Aircoach, I don't think they will be too worried.
As for why the NTA would "flood" this route. I would ask you, why shouldn't they?
Let the companies compete, it will force them to provide better services and keep prices low. We have seen that in Galway where due to GoBus/CityLink, BE have been forced to introduce newer, much nicer buses and free wifi and Irish Rail actually reduced their train ticket prices and introduced free wifi.
Great news for the consumer. I can't understand why anyone would be against this unless they have a vested interested in one of the older operators.
This is all well within the NTA policy documents which recommend the licensing of two hourly (i.e. every 30 minutes) direct services on intercity routes and two bi-hourly (i.e. every hour) stopping service on intercity routes.
In fact per this policy, if GoBus enter with an hourly service and assuming Aircoach only got a license for a bi-hourly service, we could actually see a fourth service provider offering a bi-hourly direct service *
* I actually doubt this, I assume Aircoach have a license for an hourly direct service, but are running only bi-hourly at the moment and will expand to hourly in time.
Glad that they have fixed the errors up, looks better now for sure.
First are going through a tough time in the UK right now and are having to sell of numerous parts of their bus empire to meet their financial targets, they certainly do not have such deep pockets as they did before which has seen their share price going flying in the wrong direction. So I wouldn't expect mass investment, especially when Aircoach was apparently loss making in their last accounts.
Saying that I'm sure Aircoach themselves have some reserves and a little investment from First is likely.
Trying to book the westmoreland street to cork and can't book the 6pm express service. Sigh. It just shows the normal routes. (i.e. 5pm, 7pm etc)
Is there are seperate link for the express?
Some answers for you all (based on confirmed information from Aircoach)
If a passenger requires a toilet break, the driver will be happy to stop in Urlingford or elsewhere if necessary, for example a petrol station.
The online booking system is being updated and fares for the express service should be able to be booked online very soon. Until then you should buy your ticket from the driver as normal - the price is the same as buying online.
Phase 2 of the New Cork Express service will see a further big increase in the number of Express services. This will be launching in the quite near future. No dates confirmed as yet, but likely to relate to recruitment as they still are advertising for extra staff.
Thanks for the info.
Really not attractive to most people, will mean the bus will be late.
If GoBus launch with toilets, I predict it will be far more popular. I know all my Corkonian friends living in Dublin say the same, they want onboard toilets.
Great news that the service will expand further. From the two pieces of info above, I guess they rushed to launch this service before GoBus launches their service. To get some publicity.
Obviously the main aim was to beat Gobus.ie to the launch with this service, hence why the online booking and all the services are not ready. They were able to react quite quickly after getting the licenses as I would say some of the Dublin based duties will be worked by staff freed up from service cuts on other routes at the start of March.
However the Cork based duties that they want to bring it would be harder to staff so I would say so I would imagine a lot of the second phase would involve mostly new duties by Cork based staff which they are recruiting for now.
What's the ownership behind Gobus and Citylink? Do they have the cash to match an expansion drive by First/Aircoach given the tight lending environment in Ireland at present?
Citylink are owned by a large multi-national group, ComfortDelGiro who outsource the operation of their services to Galway based Calinan coaches. GoBus are headed up by Jim Burke who ironically previously founded Citylink in Ireland before they were sold up. Even more ironically, the current Aircoach boss is a previous managing director of Citylink. GoBus service is run in partnership with Bernard Kavanagh, who they lease a number of coaches from.
First's share price has gone through the floor in recent weeks and they need to raise £100m by selling parts of their business off. They've already sold off part of the operations in London, full operations in North Devon and Kings Lynn in the UK along with selling off their German company as well as pulling out of a joint rail contract in Scandinavia. They've also pulled out of Bury St Edmunds and only yesterday announced they are cutting 250 jobs in East Scotland and closing many routes. I wouldn't be sure that Aircoach's future and current ownership is that secure based on that so they may not be as powerful as you think.
I wonder is there an intent of any operator (gobus/citylink/aircoach) to start a Limerick express- Dublin Coach are doing pretty well from their new express service...particularly from UL.
FirstGroup are paying a heavy price for some very poor management acumen in it's recent past.
The Company's operations in the Uk have consistently figured in the press regarding poor performance and also questionable maintenance and operational attitudes.
Some high-level managerial resignations,retirements and attendant shuffling failed to produce a Management Team with a clearly defined purpose.
It would not surprise me if in the near future FirstGroup decided to disengage from the Irish Public Transport sector,thus leaving Aircoach open to accquisition (or RE-accquisition )
Aircoach is currently under the stewardship of a Manager whose time is divided between Dublin and Bristol,with the Irish operation meriting the lesser part of the working week.
Ahh Alek, do you have some inside information you wish to share
Although I do agree with your sentiments - it would be slightly amusing if everything did end up back with Dublin Coach again, it would be a full circle! I did read that the Aircoach MD was appointed to a second role, which struck me as kind of odd, considering he went from Aircoach only to having a dual role rather than the other way around.
That would give me the impression, to a degree that perhaps there could be some movement regarding ownership in the future, with First trying to keep some of their prized managers "in-house" post sale, by assigning them to other roles elsewhere in the business.
It might be "odd" for sure,but it's not unheard of in the industry right now.
Perhaps the biggest n best example being Stagecoach plc's departure from the London scene some years ago,followed by their subsequent re-accquisition of the exact same business (for a song)
Sell for £264 Million.....re-accquire for £53 Million...Happy Daze I should think ?
Some historical coverage here ....including a pat on the back for the bank formerly known as Anglo-Irish Bank ...
Was wondering that myself. I know bus eir have an express from galway to limerick, but not lim to cork. Do any operators run express or late night services cork to limerick?