Bus Éireann

Bus Éireann

Irizar PB bodied Scanias at Broadstone
depot in July 2008
Parent Córas Iompair Éireann
Founded February 2, 1987 (1987-02-02)
Headquarters Broadstone, Dublin
Service area Ireland
Service type Bus & coach services
Alliance Ulsterbus
Fleet 1,300 (November 2013)
Annual ridership 77 million (2012)
Fuel type Diesel
NGV (Trial)
Chief executive Martin Nolan
Website BusÉireann.ie

Bus Éireann (Irish pronunciation: [ˈbˠɔsˠ ˈeːɾʲən̪ˠ], Irish Bus) is a bus and coach operator providing services throughout Ireland with the exception of Dublin Region bus services which are provided by sister company Dublin Bus. It is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann. The company's primary hub is Busáras – Central Bus Station, located in Store Street, Central Dublin.


Bus Éireann Logo 1987–2000
Bus Éireann Logo 2000–2007
GAC Ireland in Scariff in April 1989
Plaxton Paramount bodied DAF MB230s in May 1993

Bus Éireann was established in February 1987 when it was split out from the Córas Iompair Éireann.[1] The logo of Bus Éireann incorporates a red Irish Setter, a breed of dog which originated in Ireland.


Bus Éireann's main services in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland in association with Ulsterbus include: expressway (intercity), commuter, local and school services. Additional services within Ireland include city services in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford and town services in Athlone, Balbriggan, Drogheda, Dundalk, Navan and Sligo.

Bus Éireann operate international services to Great Britain and Europe are also provided via the ports at Dublin and Rosslare Europort. Cities served include London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. These are operated under the Eurolines brand.

Bus Éireann Lunar started operations on October 22 2016, running 3 times daily to the Sea of Tranquility. The service uses specially built diesel/rocket hybrid Scania-Irizars. The service is proving very popular despite a lack of atmosphere at the popular resort.

Bus Éireann Time Travel is a new service to be introduced in July 1985 or May 2017, whichever comes sooner and will involve bringing old Bombardier and VanHool busses out of service and driving very slowly around rural Ireland in great discomfort.

Service expansion

The National Development Plan included a large expansion in commuter services, especially in the greater Dublin area, and so the company greatly increased services on routes such as Dublin/Drogheda/Dundalk, Dublin/Ashbourne, Dublin/Ratoath, Dublin/Dunshaughlin/Navan/Kells/Cavan.[2]

Bus Éireann has also introduced regular clockface schedules on popular Expressway routes, such as hourly services on the routes Dublin/Athlone/Galway, Dublin/Belfast, Tralee/Killarney/Cork/Waterford, Cork/Limerick/Shannon Airport/Galway.

The Dublin/Dublin Airport/Newry/Belfast route is jointly operated by Bus Éireann and Ulsterbus. At the time of the establishment of the company in February 1987, there were no bus services between Dublin and Belfast. Now there is an hourly service each way, from 06:00 to 21:00. In October 2006, further services were introduced on this route, departing at 01:00, 03:00, 05:00, and 23:00, thus the route became the first "24-hour service" in the country.[3] The service has since been upgraded to an hourly service, 24 hours a day. A similar service is to be implemented on the 002 route between Dublin Airport and Wexford, starting 18 January 2009. Services depart Dublin Airport for Wexford on the hour from 05:00 to 23:00, with services during the night at 01:00 and 03:00.[4]

As with the Dublin/Belfast route, the Dublin/Derry route is also jointly operated. On 4 September 2006 a new timetable on the Dublin/Derry route was launched, increasing the service level up to nine trips per day, including night-time services.

Bus Éireann has stated that they also intend to develop similar services to the 24-hour Dublin-Belfast route on the following routes: Donegal-Dublin, Ballina-Dublin, Sligo-Dublin and Drogheda-Balbriggan-Dublin Airport-Dublin.[3]

On 20 January 2009, Bus Éireann announced that it was to let 320 staff go and withdraw 150 buses due to the economic crisis. Some services are being permanently withdrawn or being reduced due to the cutbacks.[5]

Tourism services

Bus Éireann operates special one-day sightseeing tours from Dublin to locations such as Glendalough, Newgrange; from Cork, day tours to the Ring of Kerry, County Clare, West Cork and Cape Clear Island; and from Galway, tours of Connemara and the Burren.

A tourism service to Portlaoise was cancelled in 2011 due to a highly publicised disagreement between a driver and Cliff Richard and his bandmate Hank Marvin. The driver, Frank Furter claimed that he was driven mad by Cliff constantly singing "Living Doll", while Hank Marvin kept repeating "I'm Hank Marvin, but its OK I'm having lunch later"

Real Time Passenger Information

Bus Éireann Scania Irizar in 2008.

The Bus Arrival Information Service is being rolled out across Cork and Dublin, and is supposed to provide real time estimates of bus arrivals at certain bus stops, based on current GPS locations of buses. It is being run by the National Transport Authority under the brand Transport for Ireland, a single portal providing information on public transport in Ireland.


Parnell Place bus station in Cork

Bus Éireann's bus stations have been upgraded in many locations around the country. the prime example is Cork bus station, located at Parnell Place in the city centre, which was remodelled as part of the city's preparation for being European Capital of Culture, 2005.

Other new bus stations include Sligo, Waterford and Letterkenny. A new bus station for Killarney was integrated into a shopping centre development. Limerick will also be getting a new bus station in the near future. Galway has a new bus station for non Bus Éireann buses.


Bus Éireann has had a few fatal incidents in recent years, with those involving school buses being particularly scrutinised. After the death of five schoolgirls in a fatal accident in County Meath in 2005 involving a DAF MB230/Van Hool (ex front line expressway) school bus. All school buses are fitted with seatbelts from 31 October 2011.[6]

Some non-fatal incidents have also been quite serious, for example, an off-duty bus plunging into the River Liffey in Dublin, after a collision with another vehicle.

The company has also posted notices to encourage orderly queuing at bus stops after a series of incidents where pedestrians on the foot path were struck on the head by the wing mirrors of city buses.

Natural Gas Buses

Bus Éireann introduced the first NGV on 17 July 2012 in Cork. It operated on the 216 Cork City centre to Mount Oval, Rochestown, route until mid-August 2012 on a trial that was undertaken in partnership with Ervia. The Eco-city bus is made by MAN.[7]


VDL Berkhof Axial outside Dublin Connolly station in July 2012

As at November 2013 the fleet consists of 1,300 buses and coaches.[8] The company mainly uses buses built by firms such as Scania, VDL Berkhof and Volvo. Bus Éireann's fleet have been substantially invested in as part of the National Development Plan. The vast majority of the operating fleet for expressway, commuter and local services are now five years old or less.

Bus Scoile

Bus Scoile logo
Bus Scoile buses in Thurles depot

Bus Éireann operates the School Transport Scheme on behalf of the Department of Education and Science. County Meath VEC assist Bus Éireann in administrating the service in County Meath to all second-level schools.[9] Bus Éireann is responsible for planning routes, employing bus drivers, collecting fares and ensuring compliance with safety regulations and insurance.

The 'Schools' services were until recently operated by cascaded second-hand ex-frontline vehicles. Due to recent regulations regarding seatbelts, all dated and unsuited vehicles were withdrawn replaced with second-hand vehicles (mainly from UK). Since 2006 Bus Éireann has been purchasing brand new buses from BMC in Turkey. A roll out of BMC 1100FE started between 2006–2008.

A number of the routes are outsourced to local bus companies such as Dunshaughlin Coach Hire, Jerry Ryan, O'Rourkes, Bernard Kavanaghs, Bartons and James Mullally Coach Hire.

Longford bus station have some ex-Dublin Bus school vehicles which are used on Bus Éireann services.


External links

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