For anyone who wasn't paying attention to press releases over Christmas (sorry registration required for the Irish Independent, but it's free and they have never hassled me), Dublin Bus has jacked up their prices again. Officially they are increasing their fares by 3.8% but that's an average as their lowest fare 90c to go 3 "stages" went up to 95c.
What is a stage anyway? It seems to me that each stop is a stage these days, so in some places Dublin Bus barely takes you around the corner before the 95c fare is too little.
Why does Dublin Bus need this increase? Are they providing a better service than last year? No. In fact on one of the routes I use (44 and 48A to Dundrum) the service seems to have gotten worse lately and I regularly wait well over half an hour for a bus that used to be every 15 to 20 minutes. Is it because they have provided some new busses to replace the old wrecks on some routes? No. The government provided money in the budget for those. Have the bus drivers started providing a better friendlier service? Nope, definitely not. For example the driver on the 48A bus I took today snarled "95 CENT" at me when I committed the crime of not knowing the fare had gone up. They say money doesn't bring happiness, it obviously hasn't brought him any more happiness.
Another complaint I have about this increase is that there was no poster or sign announcing it on either the bus or the bus stop. In fact there is no sign listing prices on the bus at all. Aren't there laws that say prices should always be displayed clearly in shops? Shouldn't those laws be applied to Dublin Bus as well?
Finally to add insult to injury I heard on the radio that the prices have been increased 3 days early. Dublin Bus said it would be unable to change all the busses on the same day and therefore increased them on some routes days early. That cant be legal? Why put the penalty for their ineptitude on the public? If they cant do all the busses on the same night then they should be forced to change some routes in the days AFTER the authorised date, NOT before.
Anyway that's my rant over for now. I went to the World Debating Championships final in UCD this evening. Maybe that's why I'm feeling argumentative? I may post about it later
BTW Happy New Year everyone :-)