18 January 2022
By Tom Collins
Bus Éireann – Summary of Cork activities – 2021
Bus Éireann, has thanked their Cork passengers for their support in 2021 and revealed that Cork’s 24-hour bus service, Route 220 is the city’s most popular bus route with over 1.4 million passenger journeys in 2021.
Bus Éireann operates the Cork city bus service which has carried more than 7.7 million passengers in Cork in 2021. Route 220, which was Ireland’s first 24-hour city bus service upon its introduction in January 2019 connects Ballincollig and Carrigaline through Cork city centre and is important for those travelling for work, education and leisure in Cork city. A recent report by KPMG calculates Bus Éireann’s value to Cork city at €40 million. Bus Éireann employs 570 people who live in County Cork and transports 16,000 students on school transport in the county each school day.
‘’Bus Éireann wishes to thank all of our Cork passengers for their support in 2021,’’ said Aled Williams, Bus Éireann Senior Operations Manager, South. ‘’Although the Covid-19 pandemic has remained a challenge for all of us, we were proud to continue to operate and indeed increase the essential services we provide to people living in Cork. It was also an important year in terms of the future of public transport in Cork, with the BusConnects programme published by the National Transport Authority. We would like to wish our passengers a very happy and safe new year and look forward to connecting them with who and what matters to them throughout 2022.’’
The Cork city bus service has been enhanced significantly in 2021, with 193,000 kilometres added in January 2021 as result of additional funding by the National Transport Authority (NTA) provided by the Government’s July 2020 stimulus. This investment saw increases in frequency on some city services and the introduction of a new Route 212 service from Kent Station to Mahon Point via the city centre.
Cork’s Capwell depot also received five state of the art new Expressway coaches operating between Cork and Galway, Limerick and Waterford. The 60 seater coaches feature toilets, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, charging points, contact free payment and comfortable leather seats.
A new Expressway website now allows customers to prebook a guaranteed seat and benefit from priority boarding at expressway.ie. The new coaches have Euro VI engines which emit 70% lower hydrocarbons and 86% lower nitrogen oxides compared to the vehicles they replaced. In 2021, Bus Éireann published its first sustainability strategy, with the goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions and increasing passenger numbers by 30% by 2030.
In September 2021, Bus Éireann reintroduced four Expressway Route 51 services connecting Cork with Limerick and Galway each day. Two additional stops in north Cork villages were also added to the Route 51 service, at Rathduff and New Twopothouse, providing important connections to Cork and other regional cities.
In the run-up to Christmas, Bus Éireann partnered with GROW Mental Health to host a special exhibition promoting positive mental health at Parnell Place Bus Station in Cork. Bus Éireann also partnered with Cork Penny Dinners for their annual Fill-A-Boy food and toy appeal, where over 20,000 items were donated by the public to the charity, based in Cork city.
Bus Éireann also operates the School Transport Scheme on behalf of the Department of Education. The Scheme is the largest of its kind in Europe with more than 122,000 children availing of school transport services in Ireland daily. Throughout 2021, Bus Éireann has worked with the Department of Education to ensure services were provided with additional safety measures in place and in line with prevailing public health advice.
Bus Éireann services in Cork are operating at 100% capacity and customers should continue to wear face coverings within bus stations and on board throughout their entire journey.