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The Dublin Coach Experience

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    spurious wrote: »
    I steer well clear of them on the motorways. Have lost count the number of near misses I have seen their drivers in. They always seem to be in a terrible hurry.

    Yeah, the quicker they get around the quicker they finish, it makes no difference to the company how long it takes except extra diesel.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,812 ✭✭✭thelad95


    I honestly don't know how they get away with running a service from Dublin to Tralee (realistically 5-5:30 hour journey) without a toilet on board.

    The breakdowns and w*nker drivers also are a major downside. I understand that online bookings and return ticket holders take priority but I saw a driver literally manhandling some passengers off of a bus which he had given them a ticket for only minutes previously, all because an online booking had shown up.

    This company are a Joe Duffy show waiting to happen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 330 ✭✭3_BOoYA_X


    I spent a few months getting the Dublin Coach daily between the airport and Naas around 2 years ago. The buses used to frequently breakdown mid n7, not because of any technical problem but because they ran out of fuel every time! Madness how the company runs, 11pm at night standing on the side of the motorway with one or two random oddballs.

    Worst experience I ever had with them was during the redcow upgrades. I was the only passenger on the bus, sitting downstairs, late one night, the driver was phoned by a colleague who said to take an earlier exit because redcow was closed off at J1. After a few km circling around kingswood and the belgard road due to the road diversions the driver lost the plot and began screaming and banging the bus window in frustration. It was terrifying, battery dead on my mobile, only female on bus, shortly after I sorted myself with a car.
    At the time I stupidly never reported cause this guy seemed genuinely nice the rest of the time and used to chat to me quite a bit, often wonder does he still work for them..


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,499 ✭✭✭Sabre0001


    Thankfully haven't had any issues with breakdowns. Good service (Dublin-Limerick), a much better price than competitors, and doesn't stop everywhere which is great. Queuing "system" is a disaster, so def recommend pre-booking tickets - one day the 5:45 was full, so they gave out raffle tickets to those who didn't get on...which then meant absolutely nothing when the next bus rolled in.

    Did have a bag taken from the underside once and no one was of much help.

    🤪



  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭sleepyholland


    I get it occasionally from Dungarvan to Dublin.
    It's the best public transport for this route.

    The 6.10 one gets to Dublin City Centre around 9.40 every time. 30 mins later than scheduled. That's fine as I know this and expect it.

    The 18.10 from Dublin is often 10 or 20 mins late leaving and usually gets to Dungarvan about 30 mins late too.

    Many of the drivers seem inexperienced, wreckless or dangerous. I've had them hit roundabouts and kerbs in Waterford City that I've never experienced on hundreds of other bus journeys on the same route. Some of them are constantly driving erratically and braking hard behind slower moving cars on the motorway.

    Worst thing though is that out of my 30 or so journeys 4 of them have had breakdowns. 3 were resolved by the driver calling someone and getting instructions on how to restart the bus.

    By far the worst of these was a driver breaking down on a bend in the overtaking lane on the M9 one morning. I thought by law a coach shouldn't even be there?
    It felt pretty dangerous sitting there for 15 minutes while articulated trucks undertook us at 100km/ph.

    I contacted Dublin Coach on Twitter, Facebook and email about this and they didn't respond.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    I get it occasionally from Dungarvan to Dublin.
    It's the best public transport for this route.

    The 6.10 one gets to Dublin City Centre around 9.40 every time. 30 mins later than scheduled. That's fine as I know this and expect it.

    The 18.10 from Dublin is often 10 or 20 mins late leaving and usually gets to Dungarvan about 30 mins late too.

    Many of the drivers seem inexperienced, wreckless or dangerous. I've had them hit roundabouts and kerbs in Waterford City that I've never experienced on hundreds of other bus journeys on the same route. Some of them are constantly driving erratically and braking hard behind slower moving cars on the motorway.

    Worst thing though is that out of my 30 or so journeys 4 of them have had breakdowns. 3 were resolved by the driver calling someone and getting instructions on how to restart the bus.

    By far the worst of these was a driver breaking down on a bend in the overtaking lane on the M9 one morning. I thought by law a coach shouldn't even be there?
    It felt pretty dangerous sitting there for 15 minutes while articulated trucks undertook us at 100km/ph.

    I contacted Dublin Coach on Twitter, Facebook and email about this and they didn't respond.
    Was that during the roadworks in Killeagh or before/after?


  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭sleepyholland


    Was that during the roadworks in Killeagh or before/after?

    Sorry - not sure what Killeagh has to do with it?

    The only one I've gotten from Dungarvan is the 06:10 one.
    It's always been on time coming from Cork if that's why you are asking?
    But no traffic at that time of morning would help.

    Been getting that one since June of last year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,605 ✭✭✭irishgirl19


    Shambles of a service. Used to use m7 'express' from Kildare to town for work a few years ago.
    It was always late.
    One time the driver was too busy chatting to some girl and drove past our exit on the motorway


  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭sleepyholland


    Shambles of a service. Used to use m7 'express' from Kildare to town for work a few years ago.
    It was always late.
    One time the driver was too busy chatting to some girl and drove past our exit on the motorway

    There's one particular 'chatty' driver alright.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    Sorry - not sure what Killeagh has to do with it?

    The only one I've gotten from Dungarvan is the 06:10 one.
    It's always been on time coming from Cork if that's why you are asking?
    But no traffic at that time of morning would help.

    Been getting that one since June of last year.

    Th Dungarvan to Dublin coach comes from Cork, therefore would have to go through Killeagh.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 343 ✭✭sleepyholland


    Like I said, I've only gotten one coming from Cork in Dungarvan at 6 in the morning so can't comment on the affect of roadworks.

    My complaints about lateness are all to do with buses from Dublin to Dungarvan, unaffected by roadworks.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    Like I said, I've only gotten one coming from Cork in Dungarvan at 6 in the morning so can't comment on the affect of roadworks.

    My complaints about lateness are all to do with buses from Dublin to Dungarvan, unaffected by roadworks.

    Can't really go wrong at that hour of the morning.

    Are those cooaches clapped out internally?

    Smelly, rattling etc?

    I was behind one coming down the quays here in Cork over the weekend, a 2004 Setra, half the rear lights weren't working and thick black smoke coming from it,in the dark.

    Why they won't properly invest in the Cork to Dublin Via Waterford/Kilkenny route is beyond me :rolleyes:


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,530 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull


    My only frequent use of them,was for a few months when I regularly had need to travel from Dundrum - Dublin Airport for a mixture of business and leisure, and whilst the service normally ran on time, some of the vehicles had seats with tray tables that were stuck down on your lap and couldn't be fixed up, seat grabs missing the handle part, and one seat totally missing the covering for its construction on the outside of it.

    But the worst experience was one early morning run from Dundrum would have been that buses first duty of the day and the second on the timetable, I waited for just over 10 minutes past the due time at the terminus where the bus started from and there was no sign before I set Halo up to call for a cab which arrived within 5 minutes, no sign of the bus, got in the cab.

    As we were going out onto the motorway a plain green minibus went past us at a rapid speed, much faster than the taxi, which turned out was the bus on the Dundrum route, complained to the company via social media and they said they cannot deal with it and to contact them by other way, called them, sorry put it in writing, put it in writing, got nothing back.

    Didn't use the service to the airport after that.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,530 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull


    Can't really go wrong at that hour of the morning.

    Are those cooaches clapped out internally?

    Smelly, rattling etc?

    I was behind one coming down the quays here in Cork over the weekend, a 2004 Setra, half the rear lights weren't working and thick black smoke coming from it,in the dark.

    Why they won't properly invest in the Cork to Dublin Via Waterford/Kilkenny route is beyond me :rolleyes:

    I think the fleet as of a couple of months ago according to an enthusiast forum is 31x2004, 3x2005, 3x2008, 1x2010, 4x2012, 11x2014, 5x2016, 5x2017.

    However the picture is clouded by the fact that those 2016 vehicles rarely operate scheduled services, there's one liveried for Belfast but three of the other four are used on tour work only, and the 2017 Tourismos are on Belfast only also.

    However it is rumoured that they are looking to acquire some ex Shearings 2009 Setra single deck and ex Stagecoach 2009 Vanhool Double Decks which might improve the situation, but noticeable how the Belfast route gets brand new and the others will probably get second hand again.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    devnull wrote: »
    I think the fleet as of a couple of months ago according to an enthusiast forum is 31x2004, 3x2005, 3x2008, 1x2010, 4x2012, 11x2014, 5x2016, 5x2017.

    However the picture is clouded by the fact that those 2016 vehicles rarely operate scheduled services, there's one liveried for Belfast but three of the other four are used on tour work only, and the 2017 Tourismos are on Belfast only also.

    However it is rumoured that they are looking to acquire some ex Shearings 2009 Setra single deck and ex Stagecoach 2009 Vanhool Double Decks which might improve the situation, but noticeable how the Belfast route gets brand new and the others will probably get second hand again.

    I drove a 2012 Tri-axle Setra when i went for the interview last year.

    A fine coach it was as well, held the road very well,not a rattle out of it and plenty of power.

    If anything the 2004/2005 coaches should go, even the neoplan overdeckers.

    The 2009's would be a medium term solution provided they aren't as bad as the other Ex Stagecoach imports.

    They currently have 1 Ex Aircoach going around with the blue colour scheme.

    Leading to a bit of confusion at the stop here in Cork when they are all there.

    It is odd that the cross border route is getting brand new coaches, are they hoping for more tenders in N.I?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    This is still in service with Aircoach and is actually in very good condition for a 2005.

    Wouldn't be surprised if it ends up with DC when withdrawn from service.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/90331239@N02/17669928716/in/album-72157645097712755/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    A 2005 Dublin Coach Setra i spotted at junction 14 in 2015.

    In good condition unusually.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/90331239@N02/18811646499/in/album-72157645097712755/


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,530 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull


    I drove a 2012 Tri-axle Setra when i went for the interview last year.

    A fine coach it was as well, held the road very well,not a rattle out of it and plenty of power.

    Being a Setra it's going to hold up well for a number of years, I wouldn't expect anything less really, they are fantastic coaches and not even hit mid-life yet.
    If anything the 2004/2005 coaches should go, even the neoplan overdeckers.

    The 2004 vehicles I think is made up of something like 19x ex Aircoach and over 10x ex Stagecoach/Oxford Tube, Can't imagine any of those vehicles had easy lives, I think the 2005 ones were with Dublin Coach from new.
    The 2009's would be a medium term solution provided they aren't as bad as the other Ex Stagecoach imports.

    From what I understand they will be ex Megabus and ex Oxford Tube.
    It is odd that the cross border route is getting brand new coaches, are they hoping for more tenders in N.I?

    They also are offering ultra cheap fares there £8/€10 return Dublin to Belfast, plus they are running pretty much head to head with Aircoach from same stop at Belfast within 5 minutes of each other.

    Belfast the competition is pretty intense because as it's a cross border route so it's not subject to licensing. For example they wouldn't be allowed to run such a route fully within ROI on an a head to head basis.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,530 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull


    A 2005 Dublin Coach Setra i spotted at junction 14 in 2015.

    In good condition unusually.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/90331239@N02/18811646499/in/album-72157645097712755/

    I believe that much of the current problems in Dublin Coach have been due to over expansion over the past couple of years, they've rapidly expanded their existing routes to quite a few new areas and started completely new routes in this time as well as expanding their timetables.

    You also have to consider whilst the routes and service has expanded, a lot of that has been done on the back of adding second hand vehicles to the fleet to run then, for example 12x 2004 Setras left Aircoach between 2015-2016, 11 of them are now with Dublin Coach.

    I'd be fairly certain that if they acquired vehicles that were half the age of the ex Aircoach vehicles or brand new, there's no way they'd be able to expand the way they have done, there is an argument that they should have expanded slower and invested more in their fleet - however none of us know the financial details of the company and it's trading performance so we can't judge fully.
    This is still in service with Aircoach and is actually in very good condition for a 2005. Wouldn't be surprised if it ends up with DC when withdrawn from service.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/90331239@N02/17669928716/in/album-72157645097712755/

    I believe that coach is owned by Aircoach whilst the 2004 Setras were leased.

    Also you have to bear in mind that there is one thing very different between that Setras and the others. All of the others spent most of their lives operating 24x7 on the city routes as well as intercity, that Coach has never been off the intercity routes and spent most days just doing a single lap of Dublin-Cork and no more, so I would wager it would have far less mileage on the clock.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭punisher5112


    I would hazard a guess most of the vehicles DC are using are leased also.

    Sure its the same guy who had them originally.

    I know the 142 tri axles were got to take use of a big tax break where they were on city tours for approximately 12 months.

    The vehicles that replaced them are 2003 ex double decks from the UK and more suited as open top.

    The vehicles as I mentioned are in very bad condition and am extremely surprised they pass a cvrt road test.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭Dyr


    I think dublin coach are a victims of their own success and are also being swamped by the upsurge of cheapskate tourism that airbnb is pulling into the country

    That said, I got a Bus Eireann bus from Doolin to Ennis for 15 bills and a dublin coach bus from Ennis to Dublin for the same price on a better quality coach.

    Really shows the malaise in the semi state.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    Bambi wrote: »
    I think dublin coach are a victims of their own success and are also being swamped by the upsurge of cheapskate tourism that airbnb is pulling into the country

    That said, I got a Bus Eireann bus from Doolin to Ennis for 15 bills and a dublin coach bus from Ennis to Dublin for the same price on a better quality coach.

    Really shows the malaise in the semi state.

    Big contrast in the wages of both drivers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭Dyr


    Big contrast in the wages of both drivers.

    there sure is, and both wages are a disgrace but at the opposite ends of the spectrum

    but I suspect the big difference between dublin coach and bus eireann is the wages of the 5 other guys that are just clogging up space in bus eireann


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    Bambi wrote: »
    there sure is, and both wages are a disgrace but at the opposite ends of the spectrum

    but I suspect the big difference between dublin coach and bus eireann is the wages of the 5 other guys that are just clogging up space in bus eireann

    Before the strike I knew a few Bus Eireann drivers who were on €43k a year before tax with overtime extra for a 45 hour week.

    Dublin Coach drivers are on €115 a day before tax, and they work until their shift is done regardless of how long it takes.

    The private industry is a race to the bottom.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,530 Mod ✭✭✭✭devnull


    Dublin Coach drivers are on €115 a day before tax, and they work until their shift is done regardless of how long it takes.

    The private industry is a race to the bottom.

    So essentially you're saying Dublin Coach are about €115 a day and can be long shifts and Aircoach is about €140 and tends to be better duties.

    Do you know how that compares with other privates? Just curious to gauge where those two operators would fit on the overall scale.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,581 ✭✭✭Shpudnik


    When i was driving the Aircoach if someone had no seat they had to get back off the coach.

    Anything bus or coach with standing passengers can do no more than 65 km/h, roughly 40mph.

    I've never seen anyone standing on a coach journey, no doubt it has happened somewhere in the country though.

    I've had it happen before on Dublin Coach. Coming out of Dublin on evening and there was a Hugo crowd for the bus. In the end there was about 4 people sitting on the steps the whole way to Kildare. And we were doing well over 65.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    devnull wrote: »
    So essentially you're saying Dublin Coach are about €115 a day and can be long shifts and Aircoach is about €140 and tends to be better duties.

    Do you know how that compares with other privates? Just curious to gauge where those two operators would fit on the overall scale.

    I drove the Aircoach and would honestly say I really enjoyed it, no messing about, as I mentioned in an earlier post. My day was no longer than 9 hours unless I had a breakdown, which never happened thankfully.

    Aircoach and Dublin Coach are at completely different ends of the spectrum.

    In part because of First owning Aircoach and they have much more financial clout.

    Is it possible to make this thread jointly about both companies to get feedback from passengers who have used both services?

    As a driver I rarely see Aircoach looking for drivers, Dublin Coach everyday, that tells you who treats their employees that bit better.

    Even the H/R management in DC is regularly rotating, they can't hang onto staff, the guy who interviewed me was the bones of 10 years younger than me and I'm only 32.

    I should also mention that DC pay a €15 allowance every week for cleaning and fuelling the coach.

    They have no cleaning facilities down here, they park next to the Aircoach Depot, who don't offer much if any assistance to my knowledge.

    If someone gets sick on the coach, there's no mop and water to clean it up.

    Aircoach pay the best of the privates.

    Paddywagon pay €90 a day excluding Sundays.


  • Registered Users Posts: 168 ✭✭Matthew Gleeson


    This is still in service with Aircoach and is actually in very good condition for a 2005.

    Wouldn't be surprised if it ends up with DC when withdrawn from service.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/90331239@N02/17669928716/in/album-72157645097712755/

    Nice! Was on the chinese import today 'Kinglong' I think, was no legroom on it and I'm not tall haha. Whats the process out of interest to get into driving buses? :)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,196 ✭✭✭boardsuser1


    Nice! Was on the chinese import today 'Kinglong' I think, was no legroom on it and I'm not tall haha. Whats the process out of interest to get into driving buses? :)

    I actually like the King long's from a driver point of view.

    Never a passenger on one.

    To get the licence you need the following;

    Full category B licence.

    Do theory test for category D (ensure you have 2 passport photos + public services card).

    Get medical completed by your GP.

    Apply for category D learner permit.

    Do 2 driver CPC theory tests, one is 100 questions, the other is multiple choice case studies.

    Driving lessons.

    Sit and pass driving test + cpc show and tell (walk around checks).

    Apply for full driving licence for category D

    Apply for digital tachograph card.

    All in it cost me €2500 when i did it 5 years ago.

    Licence for professional drivers is only valid for 5 years, cost €55 euro.

    CPC's annually for the rest of your professional driving career average €50 per module.

    As i have a dual licence (bus and truck) it costs me €300 in cpc's alone every 5 years :mad:

    Once you complete all of the above you can then apply for your driver cpc card to the RSA, it's free of charge for a first one. €50 for a replacement.


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