Wednesday, 1 February 2017
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Bus Éireann Services
319. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the routes that have been targeted for closure within the Expressway bus service, following the CEO of Bus Éireann confirming to the Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport recently that particular routes have been identified; if his attention has been drawn to the routes identified; if he will request and publish same as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4702/17]
As the Deputy is aware, Bus Éireann is developing plans to address its financial position. The Company is currently loss-making and these losses are not sustainable. The Company's difficulties stem from its commercial Expressway services which are not subsidised by the taxpayer and operate in competition with other non-subsidised operators. In my recent meetings with the Chair of the Company, he has updated me on the Board's resolve to address the situation and to restore the company to a sustainable position.
In his appearance before the Joint Oireachtas Committee the Acting CEO indicated that route configurations were under consideration as part of the range of measures the Company believes are necessary to introduce in order to address its financial challenges. The detail of those routes and the measures proposed are a matter for the Company to develop, and to engage upon with the National Transport Authority (NTA).
As the Deputy will recall, I recently met with the NTA who outlined to me their powers and responsibilities in relation to the provision of public transport services. I was assured by the NTA that it will work with local communities to maintain an appropriate level of public transport connectivity in the event of any reconfiguration of existing Expressway services.