The Department of Transport have done the travelling public a great disservice by delaying the licencing of the the 141 route.
Somebody at the Department of Transport’s licencing division should look at the photo above (click for fullsize version) or ideally spend a morning or two travelling on the Swords Road QBC at rush hour.
The picture is taken just after 9, and shows a large crowd waiting at the inbound stop close to the Airside junction, two 41s have just passed with standing loads.
Close to 20 people were waiting at this one stop by the time the next 41 arrived 15 minutes later and squeezed them on as standees. The position at other stops along the road is often similar.
This is exactly the demand that the Dublin Bus 141 route was designed to fulfill, providing a 10 minute even-headway service along the whole of the Swords Road QBC down through Drumcondra, and across the city to Rathmines.
The Department, despite approving the finance for Dublin Bus to buy the lowfloor accessible buses to run the service, has not, after almost two years, granted the licence for them to actually run the service, for fear of offending the private operator Swords Express, who run in common along a short stretch of the route.
Swords Express do not run along the entire Swords QBC, and do not provide lowfloor accessible vehicles, but instead provide a distinctly different and faster service via the motorway and the Port Tunnel.
Why can not two services so different from each other be allowed to operate?
Does the Department of Transport think that bus users are children, incapable of distinguishing between two different routes, and making a conscious choice as to which they want to use?
As can be seen in this photo, after a 41 had been and gone, some passengers chose to remain for the next Swords Express service (nice bus stop branding, but very little on the bus itself to tell you who it is or where its going).
The travelling public are perfectly capable of making this kind of decision, and there is no reason why we could not have alternative services along all the main corridors, with normal stopping bus services, and higher-priced express services offering speed or extra comfort.
There is nothing more pointless in transport terms than a QBC with too few buses, and an unserved demand. This just encourages motorists back into their cars.
WAKE UP Department of Transport!
It was odd enough to have that vehicle on the route. You will not see the unbranded vehicle very often.
For clarity, Swords Express does not have a policy of not using low-floor buses. We just aren’t eligible for grants to cover the extra costs to provide these vehicles.