Bus Eireann were awarded a contract for five years worth over €800 million by the National Transport Authority.
This contract began on Sunday, December 1 and will include the continuation of servicing roughly 218 transport routes across the country.
An estimation of around 220 million people will use the service to journey throughout the country over the course of the five year contract.
Chairman of Bus Eireann, Aidan Murphy stated that the company is “very pleased to be awarded the new contract,” and believes it shows a “very strong recognition of the high standards of service,” that the company has provided over the last five years.
He continued that they are “grateful that the NTA have entrusted us to continue delivering public transport services nationwide.”
The National Transport Authority (NTA) funds companies that provide necessary public transport services in Ireland.
These services are known as Public Service Obligations (PSO’s) by the NTA, and can be awarded two types of such contracts either directly or competitively tendered for.
The chief executive officer of the NTA, Anne Graham said that “PSO bus routes provide a very important public service to communities all over Ireland.”
“Customers expect and deserve a safe, reliable and quality bus service,” which she stated the NTA are “challenging Bus Eireann to meet those expectations.”
These PSO contracts set strict standards of performance and customer service and can result in penalties for companies who do not perform properly, according to the NTA.
The contract aims to develop an integrated transport system that will contribute to environmental sustainability and social unity as well as promoting economic progress.
It also has set targets to improve access to the transport system and improving public passenger transport services in particular to those who suffer with disabilities, according to the contract made available by the NTA.
The contract to Bus Eireann consists of two parts of improvement, one of which will be an award of certain routes to the company.
The NTA will approve any fare changes that are proposed under this new contract before they become implemented.
It will also continue the provision of services throughout the country with 21 routes being available in Cork, eight available in Limerick city, seven routes in Galway city and five throughout Waterford city excluding Tramore.
Services will maintain their schedules throughout weekdays.
Any changes will be put to the NTA for approval before being put in place.
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