New Bus Éireann contract for Limerick proposed despite concerns

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Bus Éireann currently operates seven PSO services on seven routes in the city

Bus Éireann currently operates seven PSO services on seven routes in the city

THE National Transport Authority (NTA) says some Limerick city bus services may be put out to public tender in future in an effort to improve customer satisfaction levels.

In a consultation document which has just been published, NTA says there is an overall satisfaction level of 72% with the current services which are operated by Bus Éireann.

This compares to a 74% satisfaction level in Galway, 84% in Cork and 81% in the Dublin commuter belt.

Bus Éireann currently operates seven PSO services on seven routes in the city and NTA says it is proposing to renew its contract in 2019.

Private operator Dublin Coach operates the 307 and 308 routes having previously been awarded a contract by NTA.

However, the regulator says a number of Key Performance Indicators are constantly reviewed and that across a number of metrics, Bus Éireann comes in around 10% lower than Dublin Bus.

While proposing to renew the existing Bus Éíreann contract, NTA says it is open to change in Limerick and Galway given the relatively low satisfaction levels in both cities.

“On the basis of raising customer satisfaction levels, Limerick and Galway city should be considered for tender competition, however there are other considerations,” according to the comprehensive document.

According to an NTA survey of customers, one of the main reasons for the low satisfaction levels in Limerick is poor reliability.

A public consultation process is now underway with a deadline of 5pm for October 30 for receipt of submissions.