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28-07-2016, 11:54   #1
Phantasos
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Dublin to Athlone late night transport links

I'm heading to Dublin on Saturday, and I'm trying to find a late night (i.e. 10pm or after) service that will take me back to Athlone (or close by).

From what I can see, the latest bus service is at 9.30pm to Athlone (which I can't guarantee I'd make it to). A number of buses run to Galway throughout the evening and night (a much less favourable option), but from what I can gather they are direct services and don't stop anywhere on the way, which is frustrating.

Am I missing out on any private operators? Do any services run to Athlone from Dublin later than 10pm? Or even to a town close to Athlone?
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28-07-2016, 11:59   #2
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No that's it.

Closest you can get later is Mullingar, Longford or Edenderry.
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28-07-2016, 21:13   #3
Vic_08
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Originally Posted by Phantasos View Post
I'm heading to Dublin on Saturday, and I'm trying to find a late night (i.e. 10pm or after) service that will take me back to Athlone (or close by).

From what I can see, the latest bus service is at 9.30pm to Athlone (which I can't guarantee I'd make it to). A number of buses run to Galway throughout the evening and night (a much less favourable option), but from what I can gather they are direct services and don't stop anywhere on the way, which is frustrating.

Am I missing out on any private operators? Do any services run to Athlone from Dublin later than 10pm? Or even to a town close to Athlone?
Go Bus never ran a stopping service and Citylink dropped most of their stoppers in favour of non-stops to compete with Go Bus.

Without most of the Dublin/Airport-Galway custom Bus Eireann don't generate enough revenue on the route to run later/off-peak services.

This is one of the downsides of allowing long distance coach services to be run as commercial entities rather than part of an overall public transport network, the operators go for the most lucrative city-city markets and the intermediate locations lose out.

If the NTA dropped the commercial/competition model there are more than enough resources in use on that corridor to give the likes of Athlone and the other main towns a better service.
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29-07-2016, 00:59   #4
coylemj
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This is one of the downsides of allowing long distance coach services to be run as commercial entities rather than part of an overall public transport network, the operators go for the most lucrative city-city markets and the intermediate locations lose out.

If the NTA dropped the commercial/competition model there are more than enough resources in use on that corridor to give the likes of Athlone and the other main towns a better service.
I appreciate your sentiment but how could anyone make money running a service from Dublin to Athlone after 10 p.m. at night?

'Public transport network' is all very well but at some stage of the day you have to say that it's just too late to offer a service.
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29-07-2016, 14:32   #5
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the M/N6 practically goes through Athlone, and it's the largest town on the route. Wouldn't add much time for the bus to stop at one of the junctions?
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29-07-2016, 14:37   #6
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the M/N6 practically goes through Athlone, and it's the largest town on the route. Wouldn't add much time for the bus to stop at one of the junctions?
Well given that all of the services passing from Dublin to Galway are commercially operated, don't you think that the operators would have applied to serve Athlone at night if they felt there was money to be made from such a stop?
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29-07-2016, 14:57   #7
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Originally Posted by Vic_08 View Post
This is one of the downsides of allowing long distance coach services to be run as commercial entities rather than part of an overall public transport network, the operators go for the most lucrative city-city markets and the intermediate locations lose out.

If the NTA dropped the commercial/competition model there are more than enough resources in use on that corridor to give the likes of Athlone and the other main towns a better service.
So in the days before the non-stop Galway / Dublin service, were there buses between Athlone and Dublin after 10pm at night?

If the government wants to directly subsidise non-commercial routes, that's fine.

But expecting commercially viable routes to offer a lesser level of service in order to cross subsidise non-viable services is nonsense.
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29-07-2016, 15:16   #8
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There used to be a citylink bus leaving Dublin after midnight on Sunday/monday

I know people who got a Nestor bus to Galway from Loughrea at around 2am on a saturday/sunday a decade ago, so there were late night services.
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29-07-2016, 15:57   #9
Ben D Bus
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Without most of the Dublin/Airport-Galway custom Bus Eireann don't generate enough revenue on the route to run later/off-peak services.
Then you're into PSO territory outside of intercity services and outside of the 'normal' day. So you need to convince the NTA it's worth spending public money to run late services to Athlone on a Saturday night.
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29-07-2016, 16:32   #10
Vic_08
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So in the days before the non-stop Galway / Dublin service, were there buses between Athlone and Dublin after 10pm at night?
There was a late service to Athlone at one point in the past, yes.

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If the government wants to directly subsidise non-commercial routes, that's fine.

But expecting commercially viable routes to offer a lesser level of service in order to cross subsidise non-viable services is nonsense.
Why is it nonsense, the goal should be to provide the best service for the entire country, as bus service provision in it's entirety requires state subsidy why should the % that can generate income be in the hands of private companies?

Expecting the taxpayer to fill in the holes while for-profit companies have skimmed off all the lucrative routes is nonsense.

It isn't even an open market with a select few operators having exclusive or semi-exclusive licences that prevent others from entry.

The current system primarily benefits the licence holders, not the customers and certainly not the taxpayers.

A free for all as in the UK would allow open competition and push fares down on busy routes such as Galway-Dublin. Currently cheapest return fares are c€23 Galway- Dublin City and €28 to Dublin Airport. Coincidentally both non-stop operators have very similar fare structures, a happy cartel rather than real price competition. In contrast I can book a return Glasgow-Aberdeen for £3 if I am flexible with times and dates.

A well run fully regulated tendered network would allow the profits from busy routes to be kept in the system while subsidising a structured network of routes designed to maximise the journey options for more passengers without sacrificing the popular express services on major flows.

There is considerable duplication and over provision of both non-stop and stopping services on that corridor currently. There are 66 services in each direction every day between Galway and Dublin. Removing the duplication, combining the resources and better distributing them would provide a more comprehensive service for more of the public while still maintaining the current level of service for the most popular Galway-Dublin/Airport flow in real terms.

If I had 66 return services to play with I could timetable a much better service than is currently in operation on that corridor.
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30-11-2017, 20:49   #11
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https://www.citylink.ie/promotions/a...muter-services

an additional service leaving airport at 21:30 stopping in city centre for 10 and then heading to Galway.
...also a new morning Galway to Dublin service added.

pimping it because I actually mailed them asking for a later service and here it is.
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01-12-2017, 17:05   #12
coylemj
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https://www.citylink.ie/promotions/a...muter-services

an additional service leaving airport at 21:30 stopping in city centre for 10 and then heading to Galway.
...also a new morning Galway to Dublin service added.

pimping it because I actually mailed them asking for a later service and here it is.
Doesn't stop in Athlone (see thread title) so not sure why you chose to post that at the end of a 15 month old thread.
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01-12-2017, 17:32   #13
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The new services are on the Citylink stopping service and they do call at Athlone.
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06-09-2018, 15:18   #14
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The new services are on the Citylink stopping service and they do call at Athlone.
Still not after 9.30pm!
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06-09-2018, 21:12   #15
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Still not after 9.30pm!
737max literaly states it leaves Dublin at 10pm, leaves the airport at 9:30
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