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Real time bus info screens begin tests in Limerick

Three minutes' wait: A bus information sign in use in Limerick

Three minutes' wait: A bus information sign in use in Limerick

  • by Nick Rabbitts
 

LIMERICK city commuters will no longer be left wondering how long they will have to wait for a bus after real-time passenger transport information screens were installed.

Across the city, 14 signs advertising the arrival times of buses at stops have been installed, as part of a joint initiative between City Council and the National Transport Authority.

Locations now served by signs - which utilise global positioning technology to track the exact location of the bus - include Childers Road, St Nessan’s Road, Westbury, Cratloe Road, William Street, Henry Street and the High Road in Thomondgate.

Rory McDermott, Limerick City Council, said three more are to be installed shortly, at UL, at the Kilmurry Lodge and beside the Hurler’s Pub.

Although the signs have been erected, they will not ‘go live’ until February, due to the need for testing of the system.

Mr McDermott said for the time being, only services provided by Bus Eireann will be shown on the boards.

It is hoped other operators - including JJ Kavanagh, Eurobus and Dublin Coach - which both serve Castletroy and Annacotty - will sign up in due course.

A spokesman for the National Transport Authority said: “The National Transport Authority and Bus Éireann are working on an intensive programme of testing and refinement to ensure accurate information.”

Meanwhile, there has been criticism after bus fares in Limerick went up, as part of a rise by Bus Eireann nationally.

A single fare has risen from €1.70 to €1.80, while a day saver fare now costs €3.90, up from €3.70.

Return tickets are not available on city services.

There has been criticism following the overhaul of bus timetables in September, with reports of buses arriving late, and overcrowding.

Labour councillor Joe Leddin says this “compounds” the problem. He wants the transport authority brought before council.

A spokesman for Bus Eireann said the increases are necessary to counter a loss in revenue from declining customer numbers, a 25% reduction in state funding, and an increase in fuel costs.

 

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