Bus Éireann cutbacks add further stress to university students

Aoife Breslin

Due to Covid-19 many college students will remain at home this year and study online, while also travelling to college when they are needed for on-campus learning. 

Due to financial reasons Bus Éireann has had to cease several of their intercity bus services indefinitely. This will make it extremely difficult for those students who will be relying on public transport to attend their on-campus lectures.

Bus Éireann have decided to cease all routes between Dublin and Cork, Galway, Belfast and Limerick.

Most counties have an alternative transport system, for example Irish Rail, but with the number of students remaining at home this year it may be difficult to secure a seat on public transport. Especially at this time when Bus Éireann and Irish Rail have had to cut down their timetable due to Covid-19, so now less buses and trains are running each day.

Counties such as Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, and many more rely solely on Bus Éireann and private bus companies as their only form of public transportation. However, there may not be a sufficient amount of buses travelling from these counties to Dublin or Galway to cater for students this year.

Buses will also experience an extreme increase in tickets sales now that the college year has commenced. Bus Éireann and private bus companies may struggle to satisfy all their customers, as with Covid-19 restrictions on social distancing still implemented, the amount of seats on buses and trains are limited.

It is extremely pressurizing for students to secure transportation each week and to find accommodation for on-campus lectures, in addition to the stress of their college work and adjusting to online learning.

As we know, colleges are working hard to ensure that students enjoy a relatively normal coming year. DCU is one of many universities in the country to offer online and on-campus lectures, fulltime and part-time campus accommodation and are putting student’s health and safety as their main priority.

However, as a student who will be commuting four hours to DCU every second week for compulsory on-campus learning, I feel as though on-campus lectures should be made an option to all students.

Additional stress is being put on us as students by taking public transport to other counties, which could put our health and safety at risk.

This could lead to putting our family members at risk of Covid-19 when we return home after travelling to and from college. For students living with elderly parents or grandparents it may cause tension and anxiety in their homes.

For many students living at home this year, travelling to college for on-campus lectures will be a burden in terms of transport and accommodation. DCU are working hard to ensure their students safety, however, not all students will benefit from this coming year.

Aoife Breslin.

Image Credit: Lukey G´s Bus photos