WATCH: Bus Éireann issues advice to Limerick customers as public transport capacity returns to 100%

BUS Éireann is appealing to commuters in Limerick and around the country to adhere by public health guidelines following the return to 100% capacity on public transport services.

Limits on passenger numbers have been restricted since March 2020 and demand is expected to grow over the coming weeks as workers prepare to return to their offices on a full time or part time basis.

Bus Éireann, which maintained its services in Limerick throughout the pandemi,c is reminding customers that face masks remain mandatory and are likely to remain so until early in the New Year.

Hand sanitisers have been installed on all buses and regular cleaning of all touch points is carried out.

“We are grateful to our Limerick based employees and customers for all their support over the past 18 months. We have been proud to operate continuously throughout the pandemic, keeping Ireland connected," said Allen Parker, chief customer officer at Bus Éireann. 

Mr Parker says the very high rate of vaccination in Ireland and the proven effectiveness of face masks in reducing Covid-19 transmission are the most important factors in allowing a return to full capacity. 

"We have at times been unable to carry everyone who needed and wanted to travel because of limits on capacity.  With the welcome return of students to third level education and the steady building of travel to Dublin (and Shannon) airport, we are ready to facilitate the reopening of society and careful return to normal life," he added.

Ahead of the re-opening of workplaces and the return to on-campus third level education, passengers are being urged to plan ahead to to travel at off-peak times where possible.

“It is important to note that outside of peak times, our buses and coaches are often not fully occupied and people may consider this when planning their travel according to their own personal circumstances.   Public transport in Ireland has a good track record, almost 90% of people who travelled with us said they felt safe on our buses,” concluded Mr Parker.

Brian Connolly, regional manager with Bus Éireann, is appealing to customers to exercise personal responsibility and common sense as demand for public transport increases in Limerick and across the country.

"We have had excellent compliance and cooperation from the public and we have operated an entire suite of services throughout the pandemic and that is testament to the dedication and professionalism of our drivers and frontline workers but we would be requesting people to take on personal responsibility - to wear face coverings, to use the sanitising units and to adhere to all the public health advice that's out there," he told the Limerick Leader.

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