Go-Ahead apologises for delays and cancellations
BUS operator Go-Ahead Ireland have made public assurances that it’s services will be at full capacity in “four to six weeks” following widespread criticism of delays and cancellations on it’s 30 bus routes in and around Dublin.
Speaking at the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications on Tuesday, Go-Ahead Ireland CEO Andrew Edwards apologised to customers.
He cited “staff shortages” as a main reason for the issues, explaining that efforts to get drivers on the road over the past number of months were hampered by “an unavoidable external backlog” in acquiring essential paperwork for commercial drivers.
The private bus operator was fined more than €850k for failing to meet targets in the first six months of 2022.
Last week, it was confirmed the operator will retain a contract with the National Transport Authority ( NTA) for it’s Dublin bus routes, until at least October 2024.
Go Ahead took over the routes from Dublin Bus in 2018.
Politicians asked questions about existing problems in transport services in the city to representatives from Go-Ahead, Dublin Bus and the NTA, at the committee meeting on Tuesday.
Senator Mary Seery-Kearney (FG) wanted to know if there was a “plan B” in the event of another cyber attack.
In September, Go Ahead suffered breaches to it’s back office systems, including the software that manages parts of its bus operations, such as driver rostering.
The transport authorities assured representatives they were doing as much as they could to counter potential cyber attacks.
Mr Edwards said Go-Ahead had learned from a business continuity plan, and that their roster system was done in a different way now.
He said Go-Ahead Ireland recruited 150 drivers over the past six months, with an additional 100 drivers “awaiting essential paperwork”.
Prior to the meeting, TD’s Mark Ward (SF) called on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and the NTA to address “atrocious standards” on Go-Ahead Ireland routes.
TD John Lahart (FF) cited “countless complaints” with Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead routes across Rathfarnham, Knocklyon, Firhouse and Tallaght, “without any communication either through their apps or real-time notices.”
At the committee meeting, acting CEO of Dublin Bus Andrea Keane acknowledged that “the reliability of RTPI systems has unfortunately deteriorated in recent months”.
She said the Dublin Bus app is being phased out, with passengers being moved to the Transport for Ireland app.