DUBLIN BUS HAS confirmed that it has lost a tender to run 10% of the bus routes in the capital.
The company had tendered to operate the suburban routes, but has been told by the National Transport Authority (NTA) that it has not been successful.
A memo to employees from CEO Ray Coyne, seen by TheJournal.ie, says that Dublin Bus will engage with the NTA to make sure the transition to the new operators is “smooth”.
Coyne goes on to say that passenger numbers are growing and the BusConnects project will see €1 billion put into improving the network.
“This commitment to continuously improve our services will ensure we maintain a key role in the development of public bus transport in the city now and in the future.”
Routes currently operated by Dublin Bus that are included are the 17 (Rialto – Blackrock), 17A (Kilbarrack to Blanchardstown), 18 (Palmerstown – Sandymount), and the 45a (Dún Laoghaire – Ballywaltrim).
While a commercial business will operate the routes, the NTA will retain ownership of the bus fleet and revenue while paying the company a fee.
Unions were originally opposed to the plan, with the NBRU and Siptu expressing concerns during the original consultation process.
The NTA has announced that British company Go-Ahead has been selected as the preferred bidder for the contract.
The company will begin running the 24 routes by the end of November 2018 and all routes by February 2019.
The company is one of the largest bus operators in London and the NTA says it is “recognised as one of the most successful consistently achieving high scores in customer service surveys by Transport For London”.
General Secretary of the NBRU Dermot O’Leary said that the move could lead to “industrial relations flashpoints”.
“The NBRU will focus our attention on ensuring that our affected members on the privatised routes will not be forced to move from their current workplace, we will also move to recruit those new entrants that will work for the private operator to ensure that they will be properly represented and work with them towards achieving similar terms and conditions as those workers we represent in the state-owned Companies.
“This Tory-lite Government, disgracefully supported by the rag bag Independent Alliance, would be wise to restrict this foray into the privatisation of publicly-owned transport services to the routes identified, moving beyond will not only be vehemently opposed by the NBRU, but will inevitably lead to major industrial unrest across the public transport system.”