LIFE AFTER COVID: 50% capacity now allowed on Buses

9 May 2021
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

As capacity on public transport increases to 50% from tomorrow as part of the phased reopening of the country, Bus Éireann, Ireland’s national bus company, is advising customers to travel outside of peak times, to book a guaranteed seat for inter-regional Expressway travel and to be prepared for greater demand on some services, especially during periods of fine weather, at weekends and morning/evening commute times.

“It is very welcome that public transport will now be operating at a capacity of 50% and we look forward to playing our part in the safe reopening of society. For Bus Éireann that means carrying between 20 and 30 passengers on board, depending on vehicle size,” said Allen Parker, Chief Customer Officer, Bus Éireann. “As restrictions begin to ease across the country we anticipate there may be capacity pressures on certain routes at certain times of the day. Therefore we are encouraging our customers to ensure their journeys are carefully planned, to pre-book a guaranteed Expressway seats online and to travel off-peak – that is, after 9.00am and avoiding 4.00-6.00pm where possible. Fine weather increases demand especially for routes to the coast, and people should keep this in mind too.

“A significant investment in technology since last summer means that guaranteed seat booking is now available for all Expressway interregional routes at expressway.ie, including for holders of free travel passes. We strongly urge customers to make use of this new facility to ensure they have a guaranteed seat for their journey, as walk up seats may not be available at all,” continued Allen Parker. “Another difference we are very aware of is that with the vaccination programme well underway, we are looking forward to welcoming back people who may have been cocooning since March 2020. People who may not have used Bus Éireann services in the past year will notice some changes, many for the better.”

  • Bus Éireann has introduced new services and schedules, so if you haven’t travelled for some time, check buseireann.ie and expressway.ie to plan your trip.
  • Be sure to book your outbound and return journeys on Expressway.ie so as to guarantee your seat – a new facility not previously available
  • The 50% capacity limit relates to seated and standing passengers. Passengers are asked not to sit in the marked-off aisle seats and to leave two rows behind the driver vacant. The 50% capacity limit is clearly marked on board.
  • The law requires people to wear face masks throughout their journey. Drivers wear a face mask while passengers are boarding and alighting. Face masks are available at vending machines in stations.
  • Hand sanitising units are available on board and in stations.
  • Bus Éireann’s vehicles are cleaner than ever, with touchpoint cleaning during the day and deep cleaning overnight.
  • Waiting areas have been reduced in stations so please do not arrive for your journey more than 15 minutes in advance, you may have to wait outside the station.

“We ask our passengers for their continued understanding and respect for all our frontline employees as we work together to protect everyone and support the safe reopening of the country. We are delighted to be able to connect people once again, and encourage people to monitor the @buséireann and @ExpresswayIRE Twitter feeds for service updates,” Allen Parker concluded.

Bus Éireann encourages customers to use Leap Cards, Automatic Ticket Machines and online ticket purchase to minimise the use of cash. Tickets can be purchased at www.buseireann.ie

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