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New Carlow town bus service

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Set it up to auto-top up. No more faffing around



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,281 ✭✭✭Charles Babbage


    If I arrive on a train will there be any information on the existence of this bus service even if I have a walk to avail of it?



  • Registered Users Posts: 522 ✭✭✭feargantae


    Happy to see retailers coming on board re Leap cards. I prefer to use the NFC app to top up, a lot handier that way. Or just use the TFIgo app for Leapcard-less travel with the same discounts. Carlow town services are at the bottom of the list, it's not alphabetised properly.



  • Registered Users Posts: 522 ✭✭✭feargantae


    None officially afaik. Maybe they'll put up a few arrows to guide non locals. It's barely a 5 min straight walk anyway, maybe 400metres if that



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,281 ✭✭✭Charles Babbage


    that is the kind of thing that some countries do well, but is not done well here.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭Nokia6230i


    Official launch is today at 12 Noon in the Exchange on Potato Mkt. with Min. for Transport Eamon Ryan (Greeen Party TD; Leap Cards, with credit, will be distributed on site too; there's 1,500 in total as per a local Cllr.

    (Location information for launch site is as per KCLR 96 FM)

    Post edited by Nokia6230i on


  • Registered Users Posts: 522 ✭✭✭feargantae


    How many times did Éamon Ryan refer to Carlow as Clonmel?! Annoying 😂



  • Registered Users Posts: 310 ✭✭Geog1234


    The Bus Éireann website has this useful PDF guide which presumably will be available as a printed leaflet too. Think it's important that there's a printed leaflet - very useful to have as a reference/not everyone online - a few operators go a step further and fit a little leaflet holder at the front of the bus for information material.

    There's a note within the guide saying that both routes pass close to the railway station which is a 400m walk from the nearest stop. I wonder could the on-bus next stop display announce this (i.e. "alight here for Carlow Railway Station") - would be useful for newcomers (though people could just ask the driver).

    There's a funny play on words in the image on BÉ too "There's a stop for everyone in Buslow!" (Buslow substituted for Carlow).

    The Transport for Ireland website has an informative and fairly lengthy write-up regarding the service. One point though - it's not, in fact, the first ever Carlow town bus service as Kavanagh's operated a service around two decades ago.

    One of TFI's usual format urban schematic route maps here:

    On an aside it would be handy if the Local Link 897 had a stop at Graigue Village Centre/Laurel Grove rather than running non-stop Killeshin to the Coach Park - thought the idea of Connecting Ireland was to serve places people go to rather than pass by them. This area is one of the furthest from a stop on the new town service.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭Nokia6230i


    TFI statement re Carlow bus service & the National Development Plans "Town Centres First" policy https://www.transportforireland.ie/news/first-carlow-town-bus-service-will-prove-transformative-minister-for-transport/

    Athlone figures quite impressive in terms of daily journeys despite a smaller population; we're both college towns so the uptake should mirror theirs.

    Wondering though has Navan & did Athlone witness as much on & off line negativity in advance of their bus launches as Carlows seems to've done albeit anecdotally & from comments sections on local media & local politicians posts about "this is going to cause traffic delays" etc.; it's quite embarrassing reading some of the stuff from the "cars good, nothing else matters" mentality.

    Continue to repeat, if supported CW 1 & 2 are positive game-changers for the town; opens it right up and, for example, to be able travel for 90 minutes, to take 2 buses within the period for 1 Euro & 10 Cents? A bargain.

    Try doing same length of journey in a private car for that cost.......



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  • Registered Users Posts: 310 ✭✭Geog1234


    Over the years in various parts of the country I've come across reports moaning about buses holding up traffic but rarely seeing the real reason; if private vehicles are parked in the bus bay it's inevitable and if there's not so much as a demarcated bus stop in the first place it's also unavoidable.

    There's probably something somewhere in the recesses of the Bus Éireann or TFI news items/ archive regarding ridership figures from the enhanced services introduced in those towns (Athlone & Navan) in recent years. In both cases they were an enhancement of existing town services rather than totally new. Navan's Bus Éireann town service for instance dates back to 1999 and before that a local operator provided a short-lived town service in the late 80s.



  • Registered Users Posts: 310 ✭✭Geog1234


    "Service disruption in Carlow Town Saturday 05th August 2023

    We wish to advise Customers of the following service disruptions

    Route CW1

    Route CW1 will operate at a reduced frequency from 0900---1300

    Route CW2

    Route CW2 will operate at a reduced frequency from 0900---1300

    Bus Eireann regret any inconvenience this may cause. 

    Saturday, 5th August, 2023"


    (Quoted from the Bus Éireann website today)

    This is really disappointing that the service is not even running a week and it is facing curtailments - presumably due to driver unavailability. The notice is a bit vague - would be better to say which journeys are operating and which aren't.



  • Registered Users Posts: 522 ✭✭✭feargantae


    Disappointed that's already happening. Anyone know if all the "cancelled" busses on the TFI Live app are actually cancelled or do they just show up?



  • Registered Users Posts: 996 ✭✭✭mikeybhoy


    Not really surprising that BE are struggling on the Carlow service. It's not like BE have a huge garage with lots of drivers down in Carlow so they can move drivers off other services to try and fill the gaps.



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,032 ✭✭✭✭namloc1980


    A microcosm of Irish public transport. A big PR launch with the Minister getting his picture taken. But then the reality of implementation kicks in and it's a mess. People won't give up their car journeys due to unreliability like this.



  • Registered Users Posts: 522 ✭✭✭feargantae


    In response to myself. They show up! In 2 cases now the app has shown cancelled but they show up anyway as scheduled



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭Nokia6230i


    "Cllr Fergal Browne said it was important that the Carlow public support it, adding that there is an opportunity to review the service in the coming weeks."

    https://carlow-nationalist.ie/2023/08/07/tweaks-can-be-be-made-to-new-bus-service-if-needed/?fbclid=IwAR1yoEzElJLOKE1f8uQHdhNbzSGisaXAHbfHoXZtCYUdOvxl8CapSLXf414



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭Nokia6230i


    So finally got on a bus today; CW 2 at 2:28pm.

    The good; it was, broadly speaking, on time, give or take a minute or two here or there.

    Got to go "round the houses" as it were; the negativity over the stops in & out at Londis on Pollerton Rd. can, I think, be put to bed because, well, the way they were being described they were across from each other & physically at the entrance; they're neither; they're both up & down from the retail premises.

    I think the anti anything but private transport crowd on & off line locally need to get the bus in so many regards; they might see things from a different perspective then.

    Negative, and it was a faux pas on my part, was I naively thought that there'd be someone at every stop and that the bus would stop; it's not, it's, rightly, a stop on request service & didn't press the red button to alight where I needed to go; thus it went past the stop on Pollerton Rd. as there were no passengers waiting to board so on we went on our mystery tour.

    Ended up in Ashgrove where I disembarked for the return to the stop I'd missed; another outbound service stopped before an inbound service arrived; out of a desire to give the service a go I hung round waiting longer than I ordinarily would've; a good 40 mins. give or take but I'd the Nationalist to hand to pass the time.

    When the inbound bus did show passengers were told the intended inbound had broken down; and here's the rub I guess; there were 3 others at the stop and none of us are smartphone users so, checking the TfI App for realtime information wasn't an option.

    By my approximations there should be a bus every quarter of an hour in and out across CW 1 & 2 but if one doesn't show then that puts the kaibosh on it; at the Ashgrove stop in particular this frequency is important but it probably is at other stops too.

    Is using RTI an option at all the stops or is it a bit pointless when probably 70-80% have smartphones & access to the timetables & the TfI app etc.?

    Might RTI be prone to vandalism; would that be another consideration to not have it in use for those of us who aren't smartphone users?

    Will I use CW 1 & 2 services again? Absolutely; I'm still supportive of them & continue to use the term "game changer" about them; €1.60 as I paid today from bus park to Ashgrove; you wouldn't start your car for it.

    Observations; a lot of bus pass users; lot of parents/grandparents with children too.

    Good to be able get round & increase ones geographical knowledge of the routes though & put an actual physical place to the stops & not a general idea of where they are & to see the stops physically rather than just on the map.

    Overall am happy enough & just hope to remember next time to disembark at right stop & also bring my physical timetable with me; the bus breakdown, without the app or RTI there was no way of communicating it with the passengers.

    Post edited by Nokia6230i on


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    good write up

    btw, you'll have a bigger saving if you go with a leap car, 1.10 a trip



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭Nokia6230i


    Yeah Leap Cards're way to go alright; if I become a regular user it's a no-brainer but currently not much of a concern.

    One thing I omitted to say there; the 90 minute travel as much as you want, chop & change CW 1 & 2 in & out doesn't apply to cash fares according to the bus driver I got on the outbound service; as it happens he was same driver doing the inbound when it did show & let me on but I'll know too for next time.

    The services will take a bit of getting used to, the specific locations of the stops etc. but all in good time & so far so good; the moaners about area x or y not being served may need to realise if CW 1 & 2 aren't successes then there'll be no CW 3 or 4 etc.



  • Registered Users Posts: 522 ✭✭✭feargantae


    I use the TFIgo app and it's great honestly. 55c as a student for 90mins of bus travel is amazing. I just wish they'd fix the TFIlive app saying every second bus is cancelled when they aren't!



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭Nokia6230i


    Am I right in thinking that the inward bus stop @ Rathnapish is used by the CW 2 but, despite it being a permitted stop, neither Bus Eireann or JJ Kavanagh use it anymore on way in from Dublin.............wonder might they consider to reuse it now it's in use............?



  • Registered Users Posts: 522 ✭✭✭feargantae


    The one on Green Lane with the shelter? That's still used by the 880 to Naas and as a request stop from Dublin



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭Nokia6230i


    Thanks; gladly stand corrected so; had thought our local Cllrs.'d raised the issue at a recent monthly meeting. I appreciate the correction.



  • Registered Users Posts: 310 ✭✭Geog1234


    Service Disruptions to Carlow Town Service Friday 29th September 2023.

    Please be advised of the following service disruptions to Carlow Town Service for Friday 29th Septeber 2023.

    Route:CW1 - operating at a reduced frequency between 19:25 to 00:00. 

     

    Bus Éireann regret any inconvenience caused to our passenegers

    Friday, 29th September, 2023

    (From the Bus Éireamm website this evening... - the reduced frequency notice is a bit vague - a bus every hour?)



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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,861 ✭✭✭Nokia6230i


    CW 2; got it today to Barrow Valley Retail Pk. (Dunnes in "Old Money"; it's amazing to see almost all units now filled as it happens; for almost a decade it seemed less than half were occupied) from Barrack St. (unsure why it's not simply down on timetable as Bus Park/Coach Pk.).

    Paid the €1.60 Adult Cash Fare; I don't use it often enough to justify the Leap Card just yet; that said I tried in Centra on Potato Mkt. but they'd only Childrens Leap Cards in stock.................and when I got to Dunnes they don't sell Leap Cards; pity since it's inevitably a drop off & pick up point for many using the service...........got one on the return in Gala in any case; the convenience as opposed to checking the wallet; few of us're carrying around notes much less change so no foostering about.

    10 Euros; 5 for the card, 5 to top-up; think TFI need to have a look at that; 10 Euro including card'd be better; to include maybe 1 Euro charge for card itself or am I being unreasonable?

    Still strikes me as odd that the stop is on the L.H.S. when you turn up for the retail park but you've to walk the rest of the way; it's but a mild convenience but when the bus passes you by as you're on the way it's a head scratcher for sure; it goes in round back of the JYSK & Dunnes etc. units & back out with To Go on the left; I'm guessing issues with Barrow Valley Retail Pk being private property is why there's no actual stop/pick up point within, at edge of car park itself?

    Slightly odd too that it's same drop off, pick up, point @ Michael Lyng Motors; perhaps there wasn't room on the other side for when the bus does come back down.

    Overall, and I've also used it to Pollerton Rd. on way out, I'm more than happy with the service; perhaps, if funding's there & driver recruitment issues're resolved, a 15 min. frequency might be aimed for as I think it's achievable, even needed at pinch points in the day.

    Not a smartphone user so TFI app's no good for me so reliant on a printout of timetables; more than happy with reliability today on both legs.

    As I've said it before I'll repeat, this is a game changer for the town; to travel 1.60 Adult Cash Fare from Wexford Rd. Business Pk to Barrow Valley Retail Park is unreal; you wouldn't start the car for it.



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