Shane Ross T.D., the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport said at the official opening Go-Ahead Ireland’s new bus depot located in Ballymount, Dublin 12: “This is an exciting time for Public Transport and particularly for those of us who travel by bus. Recently, I launched my part of the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 – ‘Linking people and places’, which will see investment of almost €25billion in our transport, tourism and sport infrastructure over the next 10 years. €8.6 billion of this investment is specifically for public transport. We are planning major investment in programmes such as BusConnects which will involve a complete redesign of our Dublin Area Bus Network and 16 core bus corridors. The opening of the new bus depot marks the next step in the bus market opening process. Introducing competitive tendering into the market encourages everybody to focus on their customer’s needs and we must place passengers at the centre of our public transport policy. It also encourages innovation and improvements to service quality. I am therefore delighted to welcome Go Ahead into the Irish market and the creation of 425 local jobs and an €8.5 million investment in its operation.”
Also at the opening was David Brown, CEO of The Go-Ahead Group (UK) and Anne Graham, CEO of National Transport Authority. Both spoke of the strong collaboration between the two organisations as it prepares to take over the operation of 24 existing bus routes, or 10% of the capital’s network, commencing in early September 2018.
Also speaking at the opening Ed Wills, Managing Director, Go-Ahead Ireland commented: “The opening of the Go-Ahead Ireland depot is a key milestone for our operations in Dublin and we are very excited to see our colleagues and the new fleet of buses located in this modern facility. We are creating new jobs, investing in developing new skills and with the interest we have already received we are confident that there is a lot of interest in our company. We believe in working closely with the communities we serve and wish to provide a friendly service that our customers can rely upon”.
The indicative switchover schedule is as follows;
|9thSeptember 2018||Introduction of the new 175 from Citywest to UCD|
|7thOctober 2018||45A, 75, 184, 63, 185, 111 & 59|
|18thNovember 2018||17A, 102, 33A, 220, 33B & 104|
|20thJanuary 2019||18, 76, 239, 270, 238, 76A,236, 17, 114 & 161|
The buses will serve communities from Balbriggan in North County Dublin to Newcastle in Co Wicklow; drop off and collect from 1,721 bus stops and travel hundreds of thousands of kilometres annually.
“There have been a number of announcements made in relation to changes to the transport landscape in Dublin recently and it’s important that customers using the existing routes know that the Leap Card and Free Travel Cards can be used on all our buses; Real Time Passenger information will still apply, and fares will remain the same. The first difference people will see is that their bus will be operated by Go-Ahead Ireland and driven by our drivers. The second is the new Transport for Ireland livery which sports a blue, white and green design”, concluded Ed.
Anne Graham, NTA CEO added: “I welcome the opening of the Go-Ahead Ireland depot and the jobs that are being created here. I believe that Go-Ahead Ireland will bring a new dynamic to the PSO bus market, something that will ultimately be of great benefit to the travelling public.”
The new Go-Ahead Ireland depot is a modern depot with capacity for up to 500 colleagues and 250 buses. These buses will be maintained to the company’s exacting standards and colleagues will service the buses underneath sky lifts, rather than pits, as part of a well-designed, generously equipped and modern workshop, complete with a drive through bus wash. The building additionally benefits from a canteen, gym, showers, electric vehicle charging points and a cycle park area.