The National Transport Authority, which is the transport regulator, has selected six subsidised bus routes in Waterford city, including the Tramore service, for competitive tender from December 2016, along with a number of commuter services to Dublin.
There is a strong tradition of private operators in the Waterford/Southeast region who can bid for these contracts. Bus Éireann will also be able to tender.
The Department of Transport is of the firm view that should these six city routes be taken up by a private operator, it will not undermine the viability of Bus Éireann’s operations in Waterford.
The Waterford Public Service Obligation (PSO) services to be tendered comprise about 16 buses, or 15% of the overall operation of the Depot. Commercial intercity ‘Expressway’ services, which aren’t subvented, as well as school transport, will remain wholly with Bus Éireann.
This is not designed to be a downgraded service — rather the opposite. This controlled pilot competition aims to generate higher commuter take-up, better value for money, and a lower State subvention requirement.
As per Bus Eireann’s current contract, the NTA will set and monitor service levels, timetables and fares. It’s intended that free State travel passes will be honoured by any new operator.
July 2, 2014
Securing a bus shelter for Kilmacthomas has been made a public service priority by local councillor Liam Brazil and Waterford TD John Deasy.
The Fine Gael colleagues have made representations to Waterford City and County Council on the issue, which has come up repeatedly in their contacts with residents over recent years.
In reply to a letter from Deputy Deasy to County Manager Michael Walsh, the Council’s Director of Services Paul Daly confirmed: “We have investigated the matter and we are prepared to erect a bus shelter as requested. We are currently procuring same and seeking possible funding from the bus operator. It is hoped to have the funding in place in the coming weeks.”
The village is practically halfway between the city and the county town of Dungarvan and a lot of people, including senior citizens and parents with young children, use the Bus Éireann service between Cork and Waterford on a daily basis.
Pleased that progress is being made, Cllr Brazil said: “I have raised this at local authority level on a number of occasions and the need for a bus shelter was also brought up time and again on the extensive election canvass I did in Kilmac’. Last winter was one of the wettest on record and it’s long past the time when passengers should be expected to wait for a bus exposed to the elements.”
With a location earmarked at the end of Main Street, Deputy Deasy says it’s time to finally put this relatively small but still significant piece of infrastructure in place.
“I’ve been informed by the Department of Transport that a new €7 million fund for public transport improvements includes €1.5m for a major investment programme in bus shelters across the country.
“An estimated 40 additional shelters are to be provided under this measure, specifically targeting rural areas and I will be urging Waterford council officials to pursue this funding for Kilmacthomas if necessary,” he said.