Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dublin Bus Drivers and Taxi Drivers

I went into town last night and was on O'Connell Street around the end of yesterdays taxi protest but this post is not about the behaviour of the taxi drivers, it's about the Dublin Bus drivers. In what can only be described as a sympathy protest many buses drove through O'Connell Street after the protest ended with their signs switched to Out of Service. It was a very wet night and there is nothing more annoying than watching buses drive past stops empty or three quarters empty leaving people standing in the rain.

At first I thought it was a simple case of the bus company trying to catch up on its schedule or to avoid the protest area but many buses were stopping. It seemed that random buses were refusing to stop on O'Connell Street. While most of these buses were empty some had passengers on board. I'm not sure how these passengers got off the buses, but they certainly didn't manage it on O'Connell Street.

I would like to single out for particular disdain the driver of an 11C bus who drove to within 20 yards of the bus stop with the lights on and passengers onboard before switching his sign to Out of Service and continuing non-stop down the street. Behind him he left about 15 passengers including 3 Italian tourists dripping wet and disgusted at the state if Irish public transport.

One of the tourists complained to me. "That was an 11 yes?" she asked. "Why wont they stop. I have been waiting here over 30 minutes and no buses stop. Irish transport is expensive and very bad. I pay 20 euro for a ticket for the week and wait 30 minutes in the rain. It wouldn't happen in Italy." All I could do was agree with her, be sympathetic and wait for the next bus to hopefully stop. That is one tourist who wont be leaving Ireland with happy Tourism Ireland style memories.

Ironically after I was about to go for a taxi when a bus finally stopped. There were loads of taxis around by then.

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