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GoBe Cork - Dublin Airport Expansion

  • 17-07-2018 5:27pm
    #1
    Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    GoBe between Cork and Dublin will have a new timetable that includes some extra departures Friday and Sunday, but also some services that now go direct Cork - Dublin Airport - Dublin City, rather then going to the city first.

    The new schedule layout is a bit confusing IMO, with some buses going:
    Cork - Dublin City - Dublin Airport
    Cork - Dublin Airport Only
    Cork - Dublin Airport - Dublin City

    https://www.gobus.ie/timetable.php?map=35
    https://www.gobus.ie/timetable.php?map=34

    Good to see expansion in services to Cork.

    Unofficially Aircoach has often run two buses every hour, one heading to Dublin City and one heading direct to Dublin Airport. Perhaps this will force them to make it a bit more official.


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,005 Rocky Few Ammunition


    This post has been deleted.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    This post has been deleted.

    A private company hiring in another private to operate extra buses :)

    I'd assume if it happens frequently enough, then it will end up cheaper for them to buy more coaches and operate it themselves, with official timetable, etc. Like Citlink does to Galway with Eireagle and it looks like GoBE are about to do.

    I'm surprised Citylink didn't launch their Eireagle service between Cork and Dublin Airport. They already operate this service from Galway and Limerick and they already operate out of Cork with the Cork - Limerick - Galway service. Seems like a missed opportunity for them and would have loved to see more of their Vanhools in Cork.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,005 Rocky Few Ammunition


    This post has been deleted.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    Pretty hard to read timetable not really clear at all. And it's blurry!


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    devnull wrote: »
    Pretty hard to read timetable not really clear at all. And it's blurry!

    Yeah, pretty hard to read! Hopefully they will update the website when the date comes and it will be laid out more clearly.


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    This post has been deleted.

    Given how frequently it happens, I can't imagine it being cheaper then adding their own extra coaches. Perhaps just a lack of capital budget to buy coaches.
    This post has been deleted.

    Basically BE and DC are non entity to/from Cork City, far too long compared to the other two, you'd be crazy to take either of those. An Eireagle direct service would destroy either of those for Airport runs.

    I suspect it is more Aircoach being a very recognisable name to the airport that might of kept them out and a strong established history from Cork. Probably didn't want to go head to head against them. Perhaps just a coincidence, but it is notable that there is no overlap between Citylink and Aircoach, they don't compete directly anywhere. Would make for a incredibly strong merger/takeover!

    A real pity, Citylink seem to be a tip top operator and Cork still is a bit all over the place (compared to Galway, still way better then Limerick and 5 years ago).


  • Registered Users Posts: 295 ✭✭ soundman45
    Registered User


    bk wrote: »
    Given how frequently it happens, I can't imagine it being cheaper then adding their own extra coaches. Perhaps just a lack of capital budget to buy coaches.



    Basically BE and DC are non entity to/from Cork City, far too long compared to the other two, you'd be crazy to take either of those. An Eireagle direct service would destroy either of those for Airport runs.

    I suspect it is more Aircoach being a very recognisable name to the airport that might of kept them out and a strong established history from Cork. Probably didn't want to go head to head against them. Perhaps just a coincidence, but it is notable that there is no overlap between Citylink and Aircoach, they don't compete directly anywhere. Would make for a incredibly strong merger/takeover!

    A real pity, Citylink seem to be a tip top operator and Cork still is a bit all over the place (compared to Galway, still way better then Limerick and 5 years ago).

    It's a good move by Go be and they have new sevice cork to dublin now at 0130 0330 0530. They obviously have seen the demand as aircoach are running 2/3 coaches each hour at 0100 0200 0300. Aircoach always send a coach direct to the airport to provide that option once customers are booked online they go on the extra coach direct to the airport.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    soundman45 wrote: »
    It's a good move by Go be and they have new sevice cork to dublin now at 0130 0330 0530. They obviously have seen the demand as aircoach are running 2/3 coaches each hour at 0100 0200 0300. Aircoach always send a coach direct to the airport to provide that option once customers are booked online they go on the extra coach direct to the airport.

    Aircoach themselves only added the 2.00am, 6.30am and 7.30am from Cork about a year or so ago because of the fact the were running relief coaches on quite a regular basis so they obviously saw demand to add new timetabled services. Before that it was 1am, 3am, 5am, 6am, 7am, 8am and so on.

    Be interesting to see what move Aircoach make now, bearing in mind their very commercially savvy MD joined Bus Eireann as Chief Customer Officer and the new Aircoach MD is more of an operational person, to the point that they are currently looking to hire someone with commercial experience.

    Would not surprise me if Bus Eireann got the former Aircoach MDs input for these services, and surely BE and GoBus are going to give the new Aircoach MD a test early on to see how they react under the new leadership.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,419 ✭✭✭ Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Registered User


    Good to see them doing earlier and later times, previously their timetable was very poor and no competition to Aircoach's one. Good to see more services.


  • Registered Users Posts: 295 ✭✭ soundman45
    Registered User


    devnull wrote: »
    Aircoach themselves only added the 2.00am, 6.30am and 7.30am from Cork about a year or so ago because of the fact the were running relief coaches on quite a regular basis so they obviously saw demand to add new timetabled services. Before that it was 1am, 3am, 5am, 6am, 7am, 8am and so on.

    Be interesting to see what move Aircoach make now, bearing in mind their very commercially savvy MD joined Bus Eireann and their new MD is more of an operational person, to the point that they are currently looking to hire someone with commercial experience.

    Would not surprise me if Bus Eireann got the former Aircoach MD's input for these services, and surely BE and GoBus are going to give the new Aircoach MD a test early on to see how they react under the new leadership.
    I would imagine it will be very much on bus eireanns to do list. The former aircoach MD is a certainty to take over BE as their current boss is stepping down and he is bound to take on that route but as usual will meet with opposition from unions about drivers not being able to be tucked up in bed by midnight☺


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    soundman45 wrote: »
    I would imagine it will be very much on bus eireanns to do list. The former aircoach MD is a certainty to take over BE as their current boss is stepping down and he is bound to take on that route but as usual will meet with opposition from unions about drivers not being able to be tucked up in bed by midnight☺

    I always thought it was interesting that Allen Parker has gone from Aircoach MD to a role of Chief Customer Officer at Bus Eireann, especially when that role was one that didn't previously exist prior to his appointment to it and it always it did seem to be somewhat of an odd fit and role.

    As you say the MD of Bus Eireann has stepping down, however they are going to appoint a different interim MD following this. It makes you wonder if Parker had a clause in his Aircoach contract about not taking certain roles with competitors for a certain period of time after leaving and they're just waiting that time out.

    Then you'll have a strange situation where John O'Sullivan, who was at the helm of Aircoach for over a decade, and Parker at Bus Eireann, who was also at Aircoach for a decade, will be the biggest competitors to Aircoach on both the Cork and Dublin runs, essentially going up head to head against the company they built up.

    Personally I wouldn't be surprised to see Aircoach be sold up to Go-Ahead for example. It would provide a good North Dublin base for them and First honestly don't have the finances right now to grow the business much more in the face of intensifying competition.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
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  • Registered Users Posts: 201 ✭✭ mickmmc
    Registered User


    How would the GOBE driver roster work for the early morning services?

    Aircoach has Dublin based and Cork based drivers on the Cork Route.

    Would those services be the return lap for GOBE drivers with some drivers based in Dublin?

    It would hard to hack starting at 1:30am and 3:30am.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    mickmmc wrote: »
    How would the GOBE driver roster work for the early morning services?

    Aircoach has Dublin based and Cork based drivers on the Cork Route.

    Would those services be the return lap for GOBE drivers with some drivers based in Dublin?

    It would hard to hack starting at 1:30am and 3:30am.

    Perhaps those services will be operated by Bernard Kavanagh?

    When GoBe started it was fully operated by Bernard Kavanagh, although about a year ago they started doing about half of the services in-house.


  • Registered Users Posts: 77,620 ✭✭✭✭ Victor
    Registered User


    bk wrote: »
    Unofficially Aircoach has often run two buses every hour, one heading to Dublin City and one heading direct to Dublin Airport. Perhaps this will force them to make it a bit more official.
    NTA had previously cracked down on this for all operators, restricting the number of extra services that could be provided off-timetable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 295 ✭✭ soundman45
    Registered User


    Aircoach now running direct to airport on the 1/2/3am services. I think they will still dominate on the Cork - Dublin route as they seem much more flexible to customer demands for example when I'm in Cork I've never seen Go Be put on extra busses. Do they just take enough bookings to fill a coach or how do they cope with extra demand?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    Victor wrote: »
    NTA had previously cracked down on this for all operators, restricting the number of extra services that could be provided off-timetable.

    Why would they do that!! If the demand is there, fill it. It is a sign of success of the NTA's policy, not something to be stopped!
    soundman45 wrote: »
    Aircoach now running direct to airport on the 1/2/3am services. I think they will still dominate on the Cork - Dublin route as they seem much more flexible to customer demands for example when I'm in Cork I've never seen Go Be put on extra busses. Do they just take enough bookings to fill a coach or how do they cope with extra demand?

    I've seen them just turn away walkup's and tell them try the next bus in two hours!

    Definitely always book online with them. Though that isn't too harsh as you can book online just one hour in advance which is more flexible then Aircoach.

    BTW no sign anywhere of these new direct departures.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    Victor wrote: »
    NTA had previously cracked down on this for all operators, restricting the number of extra services that could be provided off-timetable.

    As long as they are departing the same time as the timetabled service, and are not stopping off at any stops which are not on the timetabled service, they are considered auxiliary departures, rather than off timetable departures.

    What is not allowed is to operate a bus at a time that is not listed on the timetable or to call at points which are not indicated on the timetable for that particular service, or change the order in which the stops are called at.
    soundman45 wrote: »
    Aircoach now running direct to airport on the 1/2/3am services. I think they will still dominate on the Cork - Dublin route as they seem much more flexible to customer demands for example when I'm in Cork I've never seen Go Be put on extra busses. Do they just take enough bookings to fill a coach or how do they cope with extra demand?

    Booking engine is showing the following as now being Cork - Airport - Dublin
    1.00am
    2.00am (was that anyway)
    3.00am

    There may be more, and also similar in the other direction, you'll have to keep selecting times in the booking engine and see what the arrival time comes out as to work it out, as it seems Aircoach have not updated their website yet.
    bk wrote: »
    I've seen them just turn away walkup's and tell them try the next bus in two hours!

    Definitely always book online with them. Though that isn't too harsh as you can book online just one hour in advance which is more flexible then Aircoach

    Sure but closing bookings earlier is the very reason that Aircoach can adequately plan for extra capacity if needed since they have far more idea of the numbers travelling with enough time to arrange capacity if necessary.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    According to the Aircoach tracker, the 07:30 service from Cork went direct to Dublin Airport, the same as the GoBe one at the same time.

    That very much isn't indicated on the timetable....


  • Registered Users Posts: 295 ✭✭ soundman45
    Registered User


    devnull wrote: »
    According to the Aircoach tracker, the 07:30 service from Cork went direct to Dublin Airport, the same as the GoBe one at the same time.

    That very much isn't indicated on the timetable....

    It does happen occasionally that there would just not be any passengers on a trip going into dublin city so that leaves driver free to go direct to airport.


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
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    soundman45 wrote: »
    It does happen occasionally that there would just not be any passengers on a trip going into dublin city so that leaves driver free to go direct to airport.

    Maybe that was the case but it does strike me odd, especially when GoBe had a service going direct to Dublin Airport, at the same time.

    Quite a few are doing it according to the tracker, going to the airport first.


  • Registered Users Posts: 77,620 ✭✭✭✭ Victor
    Registered User


    bk wrote: »
    Why would they do that!! If the demand is there, fill it. It is a sign of success of the NTA's policy, not something to be stopped!
    devnull wrote: »
    As long as they are departing the same time as the timetabled service, and are not stopping off at any stops which are not on the timetabled service, they are considered auxiliary departures, rather than off timetable departures.

    What is not allowed is to operate a bus at a time that is not listed on the timetable or to call at points which are not indicated on the timetable for that particular service, or change the order in which the stops are called at.
    Pardon me using the wrong term. It is the auxiliary departures which are / were being limited to something like 25% of timetabled departures.

    Licences specify timetables. Licences are designed to provide a balance between operators (although first come first served is still important). Operating outside the licence causes unfair competition and undermines the ability of others operators to make a profit, thereby causing operators to withdraw services. Overall this becomes disruptive to the service provided to passengers.

    There is also the matter of what any particular stop location can handle.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    Victor wrote: »
    Pardon me using the wrong term. It is the auxiliary departures which are / were being limited to something like 25% of timetabled departures.

    There is nothing in the NTA's own guidelines which underpin this 25% figure:
    https://www.nationaltransport.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Guidelines-for-the-licensing-of-bus-passenger-services.pdf
    Auxiliary departures are permissible where the licence holder determines on any given day that there is additional demand for the deployment of such departures, which could not have been reasonably anticipated.

    An auxiliary service departure on a licensed route departs as close to the timetabled departure as safe and operationally possible, serves all or some points of the route and terminates on that route. The auxiliary departure is deployed for the purposes of accommodating unanticipated additional demand for a scheduled departure on that route.

    The approval of the Authority is not required in respect of the deployment of an auxiliary departure that operates for not more than 3 weeks, consecutively or otherwise, within a period of not more than 3 months from the first deployment of the auxiliary services. Auxiliary departures, as described above, are only permissible if the licence holder informs the Authority of the operation of the departure within 5 working days of the first operation of the auxiliary departure and that the departure otherwise complies with the licence.

    Any non-scheduled departure on a route that is referred to in any schedule or timetable published or displayed in any format by the licence holder or any other operator which provides services on a subcontracting basis to the licence holder in respect of the route in question cannot be regarded as being an auxiliary departure.

    As well there is also the debate as to whether an additional bus operating at exactly the same time due as the timetabled bus due to predicted demand is considered as an auxiliary departure or simply adding extra capacity to a timetabled departure.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    Victor the extra coaches I've seen operate out of Cork fall under the "auxiliary" departures from what I've seen.

    An extra coach or two that leave at the same time (or within max 5 minutes) as the main scheduled coach and either run the exact same route as the scheduled coach (I've seen them follow one another pretty much back to back all the way to Dublin) or one skips Dublin City and goes straight to the airport.

    In fairness to them I've never seen them leave at totally unscheduled times or stop at anywhere but their stops.

    I see nothing wrong with this and see no reason why they shouldn't be able to lay on 20 coaches at the same time if the demand was there. Surely it is a good indication of lots of people taking public transport.

    Of course I'd be completely against aggressive competition with them laying on extra coaches at the same time as their competitor. And that those lead to those couple of x:30 departures that Aircoach started a few years ago during the BE strike at the same time as some GoBE departures. That one is just weird.

    Of course you maybe could argue if things are so busy, then you could argue that the NTA should issue a third of even fourth license. Leave other companies pick up the slack. Would have the advantage of more competition on the route and high frequencies of a coach every 15 minutes rather then every 30. It would be great to see Citylink on this route. The Cork route is still only ok and could do with a bit more competition and quality IMO.

    I suspect Cork is now busy enough to have different services aimed at different markets. Cheap service for students and perhaps a more luxurious service for others (less seats, more legroom, etc.).

    Of course the question of bus stop capacity is another story. The quays on Cork are a disaster and not at all suitable and mark my words their will be a serious accident there some day. Cork badly needs a dedicated private bus station similar to Galway.

    Though now that I think of it, a third or fourth operator operating at x:15 and x:45 would help reduce the pressure on those stops due to more staggered departures. But it would only be a temporary solution IMO.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    Third or fourth operator would not be a good thing - having too much competition would work against a consumer and would make it more unlikely that the least profitable journeys are going to be run.

    Then rather than having two operators with 15-20 services each you might end up with 3 or 4 operators with 10 journeys each, which actually reduce options for travel when purchasing return tickets and will push the price up.

    We need competition, but too much is not good either

    In relation to GoBe and Aircoach head to head departures, the licensing guidelines state that there should be 30 minutes time separation from that of competing services.

    However there is a clause that allows this to be overidden
    An example of circumstances when the operation of separation times would not be in the public interest could be periods of peak demand, such as, Friday and Sunday evenings, Monday morning and bank holiday weekends.

    Such cases will be considered on individual merits and separation of times may be adjusted in order to serve the interests of public transport use.

    If Aircoach could demonstrate that the times concerned were at peak times for them, and they had a large number of passengers on the 6am, 7am and 8am coaches, then I assume this is how they got the times granted.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    devnull wrote: »
    Sure but closing bookings earlier is the very reason that Aircoach can adequately plan for extra capacity if needed since they have far more idea of the numbers travelling with enough time to arrange capacity if necessary.

    But really at this stage Aircoach should have more then enough historical data to model a good guesstimate for most departures.

    They most already model this for the walk up fares. I assume it is something like they know 80% book online and 20% walk-up and work accordingly on that.

    All they would need to do is adjust this model to something like:
    - 70% online 24 hours before
    - 10% in the last 24 hours
    - 20% walk-up

    and order up extra coaches based on that sort of modelling.

    I don't think there should be any big unexpected surprises, they know what concerts, etc. are coming up and those people tend to book far in advance anyway. They should still be able to predict pretty accurately a few hours in advance.

    I would have agreed with this excuse when they first started up. But it is really weak now years later and I don't buy it any more. I feel it is more that they just couldn't be bothered and lack competition on the route.
    An auxiliary service departure on a licensed route departs as close to the timetabled departure as safe and operationally possible, serves all or some points of the route and terminates on that route. The auxiliary departure is deployed for the purposes of accommodating unanticipated additional demand for a scheduled departure on that route.

    In fairness that sounds exactly like Aircoaches extra services.
    The approval of the Authority is not required in respect of the deployment of an auxiliary departure that operates for not more than 3 weeks, consecutively or otherwise, within a period of not more than 3 months from the first deployment of the auxiliary services. Auxiliary departures, as described above, are only permissible if the licence holder informs the Authority of the operation of the departure within 5 working days of the first operation of the auxiliary departure and that the departure otherwise complies with the licence.

    Well I find it very hard to believe Aircoach aren't falling fowl of this. This services seem to operate year round for years now! These auxilaries are certinly running far longer then just 3 months!
    devnull wrote: »
    As well there is also the debate as to whether an additional bus operating at exactly the same time due as the timetabled bus due to predicted demand is considered as an auxiliary departure or simply adding extra capacity to a timetabled departure.

    Perhaps this is it and I would agree with that.
    devnull wrote: »
    Third or fourth operator would not be a good thing - having too much competition would work against a consumer and would make it more unlikely that the least profitable journeys are going to be run.

    I'm not at all sure I agree with this. If these routes continue to get busier and busier like I suspect they will, then I think there can be plenty of room for extra companies. If you go to Poland or Brazil, you see multiple private companies operate every 5 to 10 minutes. And as I mentioed you see different types of services aimed at different markets.

    I also think that the Cork route hasn't matured as well as it could because of how weak GoBE's service and competition has been, allowing Aircoach to be a bit complacent about it all. I feel the route could certainly be improved with a quality third operator to throw a bit of compeition and energy into the market.
    devnull wrote: »
    In relation to GoBe and Aircoach head to head departures, the licensing guidelines state that there should be 30 minutes time separation from that of competing services.

    However there is a clause that allows this to be overidden


    If Aircoach could demonstrate that the times concerned were at peak times for them, and they had a large number of passengers on the 6am, 7am and 8am coaches, then I assume this is how they got the times granted.

    Well these operate every day, not just weekends/bank holiday Mondays. I mean if this is the excuse, GoBe could just say the same and lay on coaches at Aircoaches on the hour time, since clearly there is so much demand with Airocach needing auxiliaries.

    Then we just end up with a coach war like we have on the Belfast route.

    Aircoach might be technically within the rules here, but it does feel it goes against the moral of the idea on how these licenses operate and really isn't much better then what DC have been doing to Belfast.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull
    Moderator


    But really at this stage Aircoach should have more then enough historical data to model a good guesstimate for most departures.

    Operationally what Aircoach are doing is pretty sound and allows for the most passenger numbers possible to be carried and less chance of being turned away. Note that there generally is no upper limit on the number of people who can book on an Aircoach service, the fact they close bookings off early means however many people book, they can cater for them.

    The GoBus system is quite limited. Yes you can book up to an hour or so before the departure, but once the coach is full, it's full. This means that patrons can be turned away because the coach is full, even when trying to book a few days in advance, because the magic number has been reached. It does work well for off-peak services though that normally are quite empty.

    The good thing about Aircoach is I know that if I book ahead of 5pm the day before I travel I will be able to travel on whatever service I want to because it won't refuse bookings. With GoBus if I book the same day, one day ahead or a week ahead, there is the potential that I could be turned away because the coach has no space, which creates a real FOMO fear which almost creates an argument for booking GoBe even further in advance than Aircoach.

    Neither model is perfect and both companies are using a trade off:
    - GoBe limit ticket sales to be able to be more flexible on how far in advance tickets can be bought
    - Aircoach limit how far in advance tickets can be purchased to be more flexible on ticket sales.

    Unfortunately if you neither cap your ticket sales per bus or have a cut off, you're going to be turning passengers away on a very regular basis and it will create for very poor PR.
    bk wrote: »
    Well these operate every day, not just weekends/bank holiday Mondays. I mean if this is the excuse

    Peak demand doesn't necessary have to be a day - it can be argued I would say that peak demand for such a route would be more dependent on time of day and not whatever day of the week it was.
    GoBe could just say the same and lay on coaches at Aircoaches on the hour time.[/quote

    I would say GoBe would have to fill all criteria below to get that:
    a) Have a coach half an hour before Aircoach
    b) Have a coach half an hour after Aircoach
    c) Be able to demonstrate that both of these are full on an ongoing basis.

    If they can show that they are leaving people behind or that they have had to run extra vehicles for either a) or b) to cater for demand, that would no doubt help their case.
    Aircoach might be technically within the rules here, but it does feel it goes against the moral of the idea on how these licenses operate and really isn't much better then what DC have been doing to Belfast.

    There's a world of difference between this and Dublin Coach.

    Aircoach are running the services on the half an hour because the services half an hour before and half an hour after them are full and have been able to convince the NTA that providing extra capacity would be in the interests of the passengers in general. If they were not filling those vehicles, they would not have got the rights for the services that are head to head. They are getting it I believe because of passenger numbers on their services either side.

    With Dublin Coach, they didn't start with a time separated service. They started running head to head from day one and that would not be possible if the route was run under NTA guidelines, since the initial license would only be given with time separation, and only if they could demonstrate to the NTA that they had services half an hour before and half an hour after the competition that were full, would the NTA consider allowing them something similar to Aircoach.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    devnull wrote: »
    Operationally what Aircoach are doing is pretty sound and allows for the most passenger numbers possible to be carried and less chance of being turned away. Note that there generally is no upper limit on the number of people who can book on an Aircoach service, the fact they close bookings off early means however many people book, they can cater for them.

    I honestly can't see any reason why Aircoach couldn't introduce a hybrid system that would allow the best of both worlds.

    - Unlimited online ticket sales up to 5pm
    - Limited online ticket sales from 5pm to 1 hour in advance, up to the number of seats left on the number of coaches they have selected to put on for that journey. Can even incorporate a certain number of walk on seats in that number if they wanted.

    At this stage it is simply poor performance from Aircoach IMO
    devnull wrote: »
    The GoBus system is quite limited. Yes you can book up to an hour or so before the departure, but once the coach is full, it's full. This means that patrons can be turned away because the coach is full, even when trying to book a few days in advance, because the magic number has been reached. It does work well for off-peak services though that normally are quite empty.

    I've been taking GoBE the last 5 years and I've never not been able to book on any departure, even booking regularly one hour in advance.
    devnull wrote: »
    The good thing about Aircoach is I know that if I book ahead of 5pm the day before I travel I will be able to travel on whatever service I want to because it won't refuse bookings. With GoBus if I book the same day, one day ahead or a week ahead, there is the potential that I could be turned away because the coach has no space, which creates a real FOMO fear which almost creates an argument for booking GoBe even further in advance than Aircoach.

    Again, I've never once seen that happen on GoBe. I almost exclusively travel GoBE to Cork now and I usually book the same day and usually only an hour or two in advance. I've never been turned away. Far more flexible and pleasant then Aircoach, which is why I've almost exclusively switched over to GoBE.
    devnull wrote: »
    Neither model is perfect and both companies are using a trade off:
    - GoBe limit ticket sales to be able to be more flexible on how far in advance tickets can be bought
    - Aircoach limit how far in advance tickets can be purchased to be more flexible on ticket sales.

    Unfortunately if you neither cap your ticket sales per bus or have a cut off, you're going to be turning passengers away on a very regular basis and it will create for very poor PR.

    But Aircoach could do better, they could move to a hybrid system like mentioned above. Best of both worlds.

    devnull wrote: »
    There's a world of difference between this and Dublin Coach.

    Aircoach are running the services on the half an hour because the services half an hour before and half an hour after them are full and have been able to convince the NTA that providing extra capacity would be in the interests of the passengers in general. If they were not filling those vehicles, they would not have got the rights for the services that are head to head. They are getting it I believe because of passenger numbers on their services either side.

    With Dublin Coach, they didn't start with a time separated service. They started running head to head from day one and that would not be possible if the route was run under NTA guidelines, since the initial license would only be given with time separation, and only if they could demonstrate to the NTA that they had services half an hour before and half an hour after the competition that were full, would the NTA consider allowing them something similar to Aircoach.

    Really I don't see much difference. They are operating at the exactly the same time as GoBE and thus stealing their customers. As I said they may well technically be within the rules, but they are going against the idea behind these rules. We might as well rip up the licenses and leave unfettered competition like to Belfast if Aircoach are just going to start muscling in on other operators routes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 295 ✭✭ soundman45
    Registered User


    Aircoach busses are constantly booked out and you want them to take bookings up to 1 hour before departure and then what? Wave a magic wand and supply a back up coach in an hour, from what I see Aircoach do a good job if they had a coach overbooked they get a 2nd coach. The back up goes full direct to airport and the service bus runs as per schedule with maybe 5 passengers on board where as Go Be stop taking bookings leaving want to be passengers stuck and they in turn end up on aircoach. Aircoach are dominant on the Cork - Dublin route for a good reason they have huge capacity and cater for customers needs. Last Sunday with cork limerick in croke park how much extra capacity did Go Be put on???


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,079 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk
    Moderator


    soundman45 wrote: »
    Aircoach busses are constantly booked out and you want them to take bookings up to 1 hour before departure and then what? Wave a magic wand and supply a back up coach in an hour, from what I see Aircoach do a good job if they had a coach overbooked they get a 2nd coach. The back up goes full direct to airport and the service bus runs as per schedule with maybe 5 passengers on board where as Go Be stop taking bookings leaving want to be passengers stuck and they in turn end up on aircoach. Aircoach are dominant on the Cork - Dublin route for a good reason they have huge capacity and cater for customers needs. Last Sunday with cork limerick in croke park how much extra capacity did Go Be put on???

    So, did you even read what I posted?! :confused:

    I pointed out a hybrid system that would solve this problem.

    - Unlimited bookings until 5pm like at the moment, Aircoach can then arrange for extra buses if needed.
    - Continue to allow for bookings after that up to the number of seats still free on the number of coaches available for that time.

    Pretty simple really, I'm not sure why that is hard to understand?

    GoBE should also implement the same sort of system. That would also allow them to put extra coaches on for events like Croke Park, etc. Actually there is nothing to say they didn't anyway. Knowing how busy that day was, there is nothing to say that GoBE didn't put on extra coaches and simply increased the number of seats to book online from 50 to 100, etc.


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