The travel experience will stay largely the same for commuters, the company says.
THE DESIGN FOR buses along 24 privately-run public routes has been unveiled.
British transport company Go Ahead signed a contract to operate the routes in April and today unveiled both its buses and depot in Ballymount.
The bus livery is designed by the National Transport Authority, whose CEO Anne Graham told TheJournal.ie that the designs fit the NTA’s Transport for Ireland branding and don’t include much white as it’s difficult to clean.
The first Go Ahead buses will hit Dublin’s streets on 9 September when a new route – the 175 – will run from Citywest to UCD. The 45A, 75, 184, 63, 185, 111 and 59 routes will switch to Go Ahead from 7 October, with the 7A, 102, 33A, 220, 33B and 104 switching on 118 November. From 20 January next year the 18, 76, 239, 270, 238, 76A,236, 17, 114 and 161 routes will change.
However, the travel experience will stay largely the same for commuters, the company says.
“The first difference people will see is that their bus will be operated by Go-Ahead Ireland and driven by our drivers. The second is the new Transport for Ireland livery which sports a blue, white and green design.”
All of the buses are similar to existing Dublin Bus stock, with many being transferred directly to Go Ahead and have on-board WiFi.
While some have voiced concerns that the transferring of the capital’s orbital routes to a private company was the beginning of privatisation, Graham says that’s not the case.
The company was last year selectedas the preferred bidder of the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) tendering process, which it said was carried out to compare and improve Dublin’s bus services.
The UK transport company was one of six applicants shortlisted during the application process.
After four applicants withdrew their bid because a bus depot would not be provided as part of the contract, the final decision was between Go-Ahead and the semi-State company Dublin Bus.
The value of today’s contract is €172 million over five years. This includes full mobilisation costs and the provision of depot facilities.