BUS Éireann is advising people intending to travel this weekend on its intercity Expressway routes to avoid peak times.
At the moment, some services are unable to satisfy passenger demand.
“While only seven per cent of our services overall have demand that exceeds capacity, the issue is more acute on certain routes,” said Eleanor Farrell, Chief Commercial Officer, Bus Éireann.
“We recognise that the fact that it is a small minority of services that are oversubscribed is not much consolation for customers needing to access those routes. We regret the inconvenience being caused to some passengers and the challenge for our colleagues who are doing their very best to manage this situation.”
Capacity on Bus Éireann coaches is limited to 50 per cent of total.
Due to the 50 per cent capacity limit on all public transport, Government guidance is currently that public transport should only be used for ‘necessary journeys’.
Farrell said: “Our drivers and inspectors are not in a position to assess whether someone’s journey is necessary or not. We would like people to take into consideration that their journey may prevent an essential worker reaching their place of employment, or someone attending a healthcare appointment.
“People may not be aware that morning services are seeing less demand, with the peak now arising between 12 noon and 7pm. We have tried to introduce measures to help customers manage and plan their travel.
“We have expedited online seat reservation on routes between Dublin and Belfast, Cork, Donegal and Letterkenny, while holding a proportion of seats for people unable to book online. We are working hard to deliver this capability across the network. Anyone who buys a ticket online but is unable to travel due to capacity restrictions is of course entitled to travel on another service or a full refund.”
Of Expressway’s 18 routes, those currently experiencing greatest pressure at peak times are:
32 Letterkenny/Dublin via Monaghan
64 Galway/Derry via Sligo
Online booking and seat reservation is now available on the 30/32 Letterkenny, Donegal/Dublin routes.