Funding for Bus Éireann’s new fleet of 116 vehicles, launched today, was provided by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport via the National Transport Authority (NTA).
The state-of-the-art vehicles feature extra legroom, power sockets, free wi-fi and monitors with real-time passenger information. The new vehicles are wheelchair accessible and have lower fuel emissions.
Some buses will soon enter service in Cork, Limerick and Galway, while others recently went into operation on commuter services in Dublin and surrounding areas.
The announcement comes on the back of newly released passenger journey numbers showing that Bus Éireann services continued to grow in 2015.
At the launch, Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, said: “Ensuring that public transport is an attractive option is central to encouraging people to leave the car at home. The upgrading of the Bus Éireann fleet in this way, adds to this. I am glad to see passenger numbers for the company are on the rise and I look forward to seeing continued improvements and enhancements to our PSO bus services through the funding that the Government is making available for fleet and network improvements. This investment will be used to address increased demand and to respond to rising congestion, as the economy continues to grow. “
Passenger trips made on all Bus Éireann city and stage carriage services – along with commercial and other services – was 37.8 million in 2015, up 700,0000 on 2014 figures.
Martin Nolan, chief executive, Bus Éireann, commented: “Bus Éireann has extensive plans this special centenary celebration year, including this major new fleet investment and several network improvements, which will deliver further enhanced services for our customers.
“Our 2015 passenger figures augur well for renewed economic growth in the regions, which like Dublin, must be supported with a public transport infrastructure which is modern and best in class. There is a return to congestion, and with growing demand for our services in regional cities – further priority measures for public transport remain a key aim for 2016,” Nolan added.