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Bus Éireann left behind as private rivals whizz past

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Fleet is far from pristine

Fleet is far from pristine

Fleet is far from pristine

Bus Éireann has decided to suspend its loss-making services from Dublin to Cork, Galway and Limerick.

As sure as night follows day, Siptu has issued a strongly-worded statement demanding the decision be reversed and blaming the Government for the problem.

In fairness, Bus Éireann has continued to operate during the Covid-19 crisis while private operators suspended their services.

However, to blame Bus Eireann's ills on the pandemic is to ignore the underlying problem.

The company has been losing money for years, due mainly to the competition provided by private carriers.

Siptu blames the Government's privatisation project. What this position ignores is the reason the private companies do well is that they provide a better service.

Filthy

Their buses are brand new, spotlessly clean and run on time. Bus Éireann has many old, filthy buses and most people have little trust in its reliability.

In 2017, it was revealed that absenteeism in Bus Éireann was running at 7pc, with the average employee taking 10 sick days a year, at a cost of €3m to the firm.

Not only that, but drivers were paid an extra €250 if they claimed fewer than seven sick days a year. In other words, they were paid extra for turning up.

It's the archaic work practices championed by organisations such as Siptu that have played their part in Bus Éireann's problems.

In a world of luxury coaches that run on time and email you thanks for your business, Bus Éireann has got left behind.