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Better to use bus or train during Covid?

  • 20-07-2020 3:27pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 27 catb
    Registered User


    I have to travel from Galway to Limerick soon, and since I can't drive my only options are to take either the train or the bus.

    I haven't used public transport since March, so I'm unaware of what it's like at the moment. What are people's experiences with using public transport during Covid? I've been extremely cautious the whole time, only leave my house for essential reasons, always wear my mask when out in public etc, and will wear it for the whole journey. But are a lot of people only putting them on to get on the bus/train and then taking them off once they're seated? Are people generally obeying distancing rules?

    Was thinking it might be easier to remain socially distant on the train rather than the bus, until I saw a recent picture of a Galway/Heuston train, where people were sitting/standing in the aisles of the carriages. So now I'm wondering would it be safer to be on the bus, as at least people can't stand around.

    I understand it depends on how busy the routes are too, but generally speaking, would it be better to take the train or the bus?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Runninghard
    Registered User


    Hi catb,

    I've used both bus and train from Galway to Limerick a couple of times recently. I find the trains more airy and less stuffy when busy which helps at the moment.

    The numbers using both services have increased even with the reduced numbers of available seats. If you are boarding in Galway City for either you should be fine but they can be busy some times. The quietest train service is 6.15am obviously - some days it leaves Galway with only 1/2 passengers, the others can be busier depending on the day of the week - personally I'd avoid Fridays if possible. For a return train if needed there is really only the 18:05 which can be busiest to Ennis - arrive early and get a seat.

    The direct bus service X51 doesn't seem to be running at the moment and the regular route 51 can be busy too but earlier in the morning seems quietest as does the return buses at 19.25 or 20.25.

    Most people on both services appear to wear their masks all the time - you'll still get the odd person who doesn't comply but they are usually less than before.

    One trick if it makes you more comfortable is to bring a couple of surface wipes in a resealable sandwich bag and wipe down the table and armrest surfaces when you get on - and some hand sanitiser as well. I find it gives some additional peace of mind.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,710 ✭✭✭ Sebastian Dangerfield
    Registered User


    Just a warning regarding Bus Eireann - pre-booking a ticket is no guarantee you actually get to use the bus.

    My nephew was trying to travel from Nenagh to Dublin last weekend. He was at the stop in plenty of time, bus pulled up and told the queue of people it was already full, and no one could get on. When they appealed that they already had tickets, he laughed and pulled off. He went to Limerick and managed to get on at the first stop later in the day - barely.

    I brought him to Busarus for the return leg the next day, and it was carnage. Same craic again - "can't guarantee you'll all get on, the bus is nearly full leaving the airport". There was no marking for where the bus might be parking, so queuing wasn't possible despite us being first there. I asked and was told "don't be worried about queuing". It ended up people appealing their personal circumstances to the BE fella on site to try to get prioritised, and then an all out pushing and shoving match to get on.

    At a time when every other organisation is using pre-booking for social distancing, Irish public transport seems to be going the opposite way. If there are 50 seats on the bus and 40 tickets are sold, they should only let 10 more people on. Or better still, if they have sold 40 tickets a week before the bus is due to go, there's a pretty clear indication that a second bus is needed.

    Anyway rant over - point is, avoid the bus if at all possible, though I fear the train is as bad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 75 ✭✭ WashYourHands
    Registered User


    Just a warning regarding Bus Eireann - pre-booking a ticket is no guarantee you actually get to use the bus.

    My nephew was trying to travel from Nenagh to Dublin last weekend. He was at the stop in plenty of time, bus pulled up and told the queue of people it was already full, and no one could get on. When they appealed that they already had tickets, he laughed and pulled off. He went to Limerick and managed to get on at the first stop later in the day - barely.

    I brought him to Busarus for the return leg the next day, and it was carnage. Same craic again - "can't guarantee you'll all get on, the bus is nearly full leaving the airport". There was no marking for where the bus might be parking, so queuing wasn't possible despite us being first there. I asked and was told "don't be worried about queuing". It ended up people appealing their personal circumstances to the BE fella on site to try to get prioritised, and then an all out pushing and shoving match to get on.

    At a time when every other organisation is using pre-booking for social distancing, Irish public transport seems to be going the opposite way. If there are 50 seats on the bus and 40 tickets are sold, they should only let 10 more people on. Or better still, if they have sold 40 tickets a week before the bus is due to go, there's a pretty clear indication that a second bus is needed.

    Anyway rant over - point is, avoid the bus if at all possible, though I fear the train is as bad.


    This would be crazy stuff in normal times but outrageous at the moment


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,710 ✭✭✭ Sebastian Dangerfield
    Registered User


    This would be crazy stuff in normal times but outrageous at the moment

    Yeah and Id complain but Ive read the "We've passed your feedback onto the relevant team" enough times between bus and train to know they dont care.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,393 ✭✭✭✭ Spanish Eyes
    Registered User


    The Greenies need to buckle up and sort this out for those who absolutely NEED to use public transport.

    I was always a fan of train journeys here and all over Europe in the good ole days. I'd be very wary now though, and will drive instead. That is not what the Greenies want, but they are talking about re introducing wolves and adding cycle lanes. Pfffffft.

    I know times are difficult, but a little forward planning would ease the fears of people big time. Doesn't seem to be happening though, unless someone knows anything different.


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