Dublin Bus wants free public transport for under 18’s

Tadgh McNally

Dublin Bus has said that they want to abolish bus fares for anyone under the age of 18, to help create a more sustainable Dublin in the years to come.

Speaking at an SEAI conference in The Helix, the Chief Executive of Dublin Bus Ray Coyne has said that he wants to see Dublin become the greenest city in Europe and that public transport must be prioritised to do that.

Coyne reasons that by abolishing fees for under 18’s, they would be able to build better habits and increase the usage of public transport in the future.

As part of their manifesto, the Green Party has said that they want to make public transport free for students, but accompanied children would only get free travel on the weekend. They also call for 100 percent of new buses to be made electric or low emission hybrids.

While Dublin Bus does not have any electric buses at the moment, the National Transport Authority (NTA) has purchased 600 hybrid diesel buses to be shared across Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann. 100 of these buses are planned to come into circulation by the end of the year, with the remaining 500 to come later on.

“It’s a move in the right direction definitely, but I would love if possible to see the bus fleet going fully electric or fully renewable”, said Roderic O’Gorman TD, a DCU lecturer who was elected in Dublin West as a member of the Green Party.

“The faster we move away from the use of diesel engines the better, from both a climate point of view and a wider air pollution point of view”, said O’Gorman. 

Alongside this, Dublin Bus wants to improve the frequency of all of their service. On this, Coyne said: “By introducing more frequent routes in advance of anticipated growth, capacity will be in place at all times to meet the customer demand, in particular at peak times”. 

They also want to remove all existing barriers to accessing public transport, like allowing for “account based ticketing”, which would allow for citizens to use contactless payments through both cards and phones. 

The company has also looked at their internal organisation, and how they can reduce the impact on the environment. They are working on reducing the amount of waste they produce, as well as minimising the amount of water they use when washing buses.

Tadgh McNally

Image Credit: William Murphy