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Go-ahead take over DB route 18

  • 03-04-2019 1:11pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭ Boulevardier


    The Go-ahead company have in the last week or so begun to operate DB route 18.


    The first thing I have noticed is that the route 18 timetable has improved and services are more frequent.


    This may well be because GA want to look good so they can pitch for more central routes in the future.


    However, be that as it may, it raises questions about why DB was not able to operate as good a timetable. Was it because they could not be a**ed to do so, and if that is not so, what was the reason?


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    The NTA set the frequency not DB or GAI. The services moving to GAI were a 35% expansion of Dublin bus services which meant frequency increases on the affected and the remaining DB operated routes. If DB had of won the tender they would be expected to operate to the same timetable as set out by the NTA. The reason DB did not operate the same level of service was because they did not have the resources as GAI are operating in addition to DB not as a replacement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭ Boulevardier


    So does that mean that the NTA were in effect preventing DB from improving the timetable until the route was transferred to the new operator? DB had this route for a long time on the old timetable and it changed very little if at all in the last 10-20 years.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    So does that mean that the NTA were in effect preventing DB from improving the timetable until the route was transferred to the new operator? DB had this route for a long time on the old timetable and it changed very little if at all in the last 10-20 years.

    No not nessecarily. They weren't preventing DB from increasing the frequency they didn't have the funding for the resources to increase it until now as an extra 125 buses were put into service with GAI. Remember the DB fleet was severly cut back during the recession and is only being restored now with services going out to tender with GAI. Before the recession the NTA did not exist and DB could decide on service levels themselves but this no longer the case.

    For the most part this allows DB to focus on the key corridors while GAI can take care of the local and orbital work formerly operated by DB.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭ Boulevardier


    I do not mind the idea of the NTA having and using powers to prevent operators from reducing their services.

    However if the NTA are preventing operators, including DB, from improving their services then I do not think that that is acceptable. I read that they had vetoed providing extra late-evening services on route 145, but I am not certain if that is true.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    DB would have required more funding from the NTA to increase services, hence why the NTA controls those decisions.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,597 ✭✭✭ Xterminator


    However if the NTA are preventing operators, including DB, from improving their services then I do not think that that is acceptable.

    you might think that but you haven't really taken into account the model of tender services, including tendering conditions, the collection of fares inc leap revenues, and the purchase/ownership of new buses.

    An operator cant magic up a few new buses to increase frequency. and why they would run more buses than tendered when the increased revenue would go to NTA ... but the expenses would lie with the operator?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭ Boulevardier


    "An operator cant magic up a few new buses to increase frequency. and why they would run more buses than tendered when the increased revenue would go to NTA ... but the expenses would lie with the operator? "

    That does not sound like a flexible system. Why can't an operator decide to improve the service, at short notice, if they see a real demand?

    The more I read about the NTA the more Kafkaesque they sound.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,597 ✭✭✭ Xterminator


    Because to have a few spare buses that sit in storage incase there is extra demand is an inefficient way to use the public purse?

    Because the extra staff needed to operate these buses would need to be magicked up.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    Why can't an operator decide to improve the service, at short notice, if they see a real demand?

    Because none of these services make money from the farebox and to add services would require more funding.

    If operators could add capacity at will you'd have buses running empty air to get the subvention.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭ Boulevardier


    This is more important than the public purse.

    It is about providing a service people want whenever they want it. That has to have priority. The staff and equipment can always be found.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,702 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    This is more important than the public purse.

    It is about providing a service people want whenever they want it. That has to have priority. The staff and equipment can always be found.

    You really don't understand how this works.

    The bus companies are never going to be allowed decide on service level for many, many good reasons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭ Boulevardier


    There are good reasons for not allowing the bus operators to reduce services. There are no good reasons for not allowing them to increase services.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    There are good reasons for not allowing the bus operators to reduce services. There are no good reasons for not allowing them to increase services.

    So you are calling for full deregulation?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    There are good reasons for not allowing the bus operators to reduce services. There are no good reasons for not allowing them to increase services.

    But if they were allowed increase services they'd increase them where it suits them not where increases are actually needed or to compete with private operators. 12 years ago Morton's Circleline used to run buses between Lucan and Celbridge to Nutgrove via the city centre in response DB put a large amount of buses on the Lucan corridor to drive Morton's out and then as soon as they were gone DB reduced the frequency again.

    You also mentioned that staff and equipment can be easily found if so then why did DB have extend they're recruitment drive until June which was meant to end last month and before that January and why do so many services fail to operate on a daily basis due to operational issues.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    There are good reasons for not allowing the bus operators to reduce services. There are no good reasons for not allowing them to increase services.

    If you allow operators to operate services when they want and the public purse will just pick up the tab for them then you are effectively saying that no matter how much it costs and however inefficient it is, someone will pay, then there is absolutely zero incentive to provide any kind of value for money or not to waste huge amounts of money.

    It's pretty much equivalent to saying that here's a blank cheque,write whatever amount of money you want to on it and do what you want with the money. That is what this country did in the past and it didn't end very well as you might recall and I am glad that era is over since I believe anyone who is funded by my taxes should be held to account over how they are being spent.

    That's before we go into the fact that before the existence of the NTA there was various allegation of services being upped by subsidised operators to flush out other operators which is very dodgy under EU law, people operating unlicensed services and others deviating from their route in order to scoop up other operators passengers whilst abandoning their own.

    If you have a free for all it never ends well. You need independent regulation in any industry, and even more so where you have a company who is a dominant player in the market to keep them in check. Just go take a look at the Dublin to Belfast bus market to see what happens when there is no regulator. What goes on there is not possible on any route within the Republic of Ireland as the NTA will not allow such competition.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,313 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    This is more important than the public purse.

    It is about providing a service people want whenever they want it. That has to have priority. The staff and equipment can always be found.

    It's not reasonable to have high frequency services with low demand. So it shouldn't be a matter of whenever one wants it. What they need in that instance is a taxi.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,527 ✭✭✭ howiya


    It's not reasonable to have high frequency services with low demand. So it shouldn't be a matter of whenever one wants it. What they need in that instance is a taxi.

    Would it be reasonable to have high frequency services with high demand? Are there any plans to increase peak capacity?


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,313 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    howiya wrote: »
    Would it be reasonable to have high frequency services with high demand? Are there any plans to increase peak capacity?

    Reasonable, yes. Plans. I don't know. That all depends on the difference between new buses coming in and older buses getting retired. If it means more buses overall, NTA should be planning to have someone running them. Otherwise theres no point in it, as mentioned throughout the thread.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,374 ✭✭✭ Boulevardier


    I do not support de-regulation or a free for all. What I support is allowing operators to add enhanced services without having to get the say-so of the NTA.

    The NTA is clearly a highly bureaucratic organisation which has arguably prevented operators from providing flexibility.

    If an operator tries to flood an area with empty buses then do let us know. Until that happens, I rest my case.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,217 ✭✭✭ Thrashssacre


    Despite the early problems of go ahead seamingly not having enough busses due to the nta, I’ve still noticed a marked improvement on the 18 and 76 so far. Haven’t been on a bus I would describe as having “crush loadings” and I haven’t seen anyone left behind at stops which was happening a fair bit before the switchover.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,313 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich


    I do not support de-regulation or a free for all. What I support is allowing operators to add enhanced services without having to get the say-so of the NTA.

    The NTA is clearly a highly bureaucratic organisation which has arguably prevented operators from providing flexibility.

    If an operator tries to flood an area with empty buses then do let us know. Until that happens, I rest my case.

    I'm not sure I follow you. You don't want deregulation or a free for all, but suggest an operator should be able to ramp up frequency without nta giving the ok on it? That's like getting your shoes on the wrong foot.

    I can think of at least one private operator that went out of business about 10/12 years ago, due to Dublin bus overwhelming them, then pulling the services once they were out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,998 ✭✭✭✭ AlekSmart


    I'm not sure I follow you. You don't want deregulation or a free for all, but suggest an operator should be able to ramp up frequency without nta giving the ok on it? That's like getting your shoes on the wrong foot.

    I can think of at least one private operator that went out of business about 10/12 years ago, due to Dublin bus overwhelming them, then pulling the services once they were out.

    The nub of the thing.

    Currently,the NTA insist that ALL schedule alterations for PSO contracted services recieve their prior approval before implimentation.

    This,of itself,does not preclude an operator from suggsting improvements,but the reality of the situation is one of significant delay in the actual process.

    It has to be borne in mind,that the Authority itself,is a "Frankenstein" like creation,being comprised of layers of former "established" senior Civil Servants,a significant amount of seconded lower grade Civil Servants and then a dollop of bright,young Private Sector proffessional grade Engineers and what-not.

    This combination,in theory,should give you the Best of both Worlds,however it has equally the potential to provide the Worst of the same Worlds.

    In Irish Public Administration terms,the Authority is still a fresh-face,so it may take a decade more for it to actually discover itself....:o


    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay (1812-1889)



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    I do not support de-regulation or a free for all. What I support is allowing operators to add enhanced services without having to get the say-so of the NTA.

    The NTA is clearly a highly bureaucratic organisation which has arguably prevented operators from providing flexibility.

    If an operator tries to flood an area with empty buses then do let us know. Until that happens, I rest my case.

    They have to get the permission of the NTA to ensure that the resources which they have been given by the NTA are being used effectively.

    The NTA are far from perfect but I would more put those imperfections down to inexpierence and a lack of operational knowledge as can be seen with the implementation of the GAI services.

    DB has tried to that in the past as has been mentioned earlier on this thread on the Lucan corridor so what's to say that wont happen again if the NTA was to allow or see the return of unlicensed operators such as the Patton Flyer which was essentially a black taxi.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,766 ✭✭✭✭ CIARAN_BOYLE


    I do not support de-regulation or a free for all. What I support is allowing operators to add enhanced services without having to get the say-so of the NTA.

    The NTA is clearly a highly bureaucratic organisation which has arguably prevented operators from providing flexibility.

    I suppose there's a question of who gets the fare box on the additional services. Afaik go ahead receive a fixed fee for running the route. Transport for Ireland get the fare box.

    If go ahead run an extra service how do they get paid? Do they get the fare box. If so and the run it before a subsidised service and the subsidised service has less passengers tfi is being cheated out of their fare box.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    I saw two 18s bunched together today in Sandymount both empty near the terminus. Not sure how two buses on a route that only runs every half hour end up bunched on a Sunday with light traffic and loadings even near the end of the route.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,284 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    Stephen15 wrote: »
    I saw two 18s bunched together today in Sandymount both empty near the terminus. Not sure how two buses on a route that only runs every half hour end up bunched on a Sunday with light traffic and loadings even near the end of the route.

    I've seen Go Ahead buses that finish their routes and then drive around afterwards with their destinations still on, despite not actually being on the route anymore in service, this may explain some of the things like this, since drivers don't seem to switch the bus to out of service after completing a route in all cases like with DB.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,418 ✭✭✭ Wildly Boaring


    This is more important than the public purse.

    It is about providing a service people want whenever they want it. That has to have priority. The staff and equipment can always be found.

    What is your proposal?
    The NTA give them a minimum service requirement. They will fund same.

    If the bus company wants they can improve the service.

    Any additional buses get no funding so must survive on the profit they make.

    None of these services make a profit.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,907 ✭✭✭ Stephen15


    devnull wrote: »
    I've seen Go Ahead buses that finish their routes and then drive around afterwards with their destinations still on, despite not actually being on the route anymore in service, this may explain some of the things like this, since drivers don't seem to switch the bus to out of service after completing a route in all cases like with DB.

    You're I didn't realise the 18 did a loop to turn around to stop 385 on Newgrove Avenue to start it's route looking at the map as it's set down terminus is different to it's pick up terminus. My bad.

    I've seen what you mentioned on DB aswell as I sometimes see buses running along the N11 heading back to Donnybrook still displaying the route they last operated usually routes like the 7 or the 44 heading back from Cherryood or Enniskerry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,564 ✭✭✭✭ end of the road


    I suppose there's a question of who gets the fare box on the additional services. Afaik go ahead receive a fixed fee for running the route. Transport for Ireland get the fare box.

    If go ahead run an extra service how do they get paid? Do they get the fare box. If so and the run it before a subsidised service and the subsidised service has less passengers tfi is being cheated out of their fare box.

    as it's a PSO route the NTA would get the farebox. the NTA have to improve any ervice increases and fund accordingly.


    What is your proposal?
    The NTA give them a minimum service requirement. They will fund same.

    If the bus company wants they can improve the service.

    Any additional buses get no funding so must survive on the profit they make.

    None of these services make a profit.


    a bus company can't of their accord add extra services to a PSO route unless they have NTA approval and funding to do so. so even if the operator wanted to run extra busses commercially they can't do it on a PSO route. that is how i understand it anyway.

    julian the journalist asange is innocent, free julian the journalist.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,670 ✭✭✭ thomasj


    Stephen15 wrote:
    I saw two 18s bunched together today in Sandymount both empty near the terminus. Not sure how two buses on a route that only runs every half hour end up bunched on a Sunday with light traffic and loadings even near the end of the route.

    I've seen 39s bunched together enough times, and they only run every 30 minutes


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