herald

Wednesday 22 May 2019

'It's scary to walk alone at that hour' - student's fear as buses refuse to stop at UCD after 10pm

Student Jade Wilson says she is often left stranded by Dublin Bus services
Student Jade Wilson says she is often left stranded by Dublin Bus services

A Dublin student has told of her frustration at being left stranded at University College Dublin, after night-time bus services were impacted by antisocial behaviour.

Jade Wilson (19), a second year student, said that she was forced to split a taxi fare with a girl she didn't know last week, after being unable to catch a bus at the stop outside the main gate.

Representatives of UCD's students' union, which said it is an issue that is causing "significant upset", will attend a meeting with Dublin Bus officials tomorrow.

Ms Wilson told the Herald that if she arrives at her bus stop on Stillorgan Road after 10pm, "it is kind of an unwritten rule you won't be able to get a bus back to town, or towards any other part of the city really".

She said that she is a member of DramSoc, the drama society.

Late

"If you are doing a show late, or in the library, you won't be able to get a bus after that time," she added.

It is an issue which is affecting her at least once a week when she leaves college late.

"I live in Inchicore, and I usually try to get the 145 to Heuston, and then I can get on the Luas," she said.

However, she said that the failure of buses to service her stop means that it isn't possible to make it on to the Luas either.

"If I am in a group, we would usually walk to the next stop, down the N11. I don't do that when I am by myself because I would say it is a scary route to walk by yourself at that hour," she said.

Last Thursday, she was left waiting more than 40 minutes for a bus.

"At that point, everybody had left the bus stop, and it was just myself and one girl there that I didn't actually know," said Ms Wilson, who is studying English and drama.

"The two of us were stuck, so we split a taxi to town for €20, and then I walked from town.

"Some are saying that they can walk home, but I don't have that option. It would take me an hour-and-a-half to walk home from UCD, and it's late at night as well. It becomes an issue for women."

Meanwhile, Dublin Bus said in a statement it was "aware of customer complaints regarding services at bus stops 767 and 768".

"A number of Dublin Bus services have been affected by anti-social behaviour issues, which has resulted in some services not serving these stops after 10pm," it said.

"While we appreciate the inconvenience caused, the safety of our employees and customers is of paramount importance.

"We have a strong and productive working relationship with UCD. Dublin Bus has engaged consistently with UCD and other key stakeholders over the last number of months in an attempt to find a solution to this problem.

"We remain committed to resolving this issue and representatives of the company are meeting UCD and the UCD students' union this week."

Speaking on RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland yesterday, UCD students' union president Barry Murphy said students were being forced to pay upwards of €50 to get home after buses repeatedly leave them standing at the stop.

He said that there was "significant upset" among students left waiting at night for up to an hour for a bus.

"They're left with no alternative but to get a taxi home, which can cost upwards of €50," he said.

"The bus stop is up on a flyover and some buses just come up and drive past the students.

"It's been suggested that students walk to a nearby bus stop, that's been offered as a short-term solution.

"We have students in wheelchairs who have been left waiting for up to an hour. It may not be possible for them to get to the next bus stop.

"It's unfair to tar all 28,500 students with the one brush."

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