Bus Eireann passenger numbers jump 13 percent in Galway city

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Passenger numbers on Bus Eireann are at a ten year high with a 13.2% increase in Galway city last year.

Bus Eireann have said that this year will see double decker buses introduced in Galway, Cork city and Limerick with on-board wifi and USB sockets at seats.

In total 102 new buses will be added to the national transport operator’s fleet this year in a €35 million investment.

The Irish Examiner reports that last year saw more than 83 million passengers travel with Bus Eireann, an increase of 6.3 percent nationwide.

A recent recruitment campaign resulted in over 2,000 applications, out of which 250 people were hired on as drivers while 22 more were recruited into the apprenticeship programme.

Since 2017 Bus Eireann has been undergoing a significant realignment of its business strategy that has taken criticism for cutting rural stops on some routes in Galway and elsewhere to cut losses.

New regional routes have also been introduced in high traffic areas.

The company also managed a dramatic turnaround of its finances from a €7 million loss in 2017 to recording a profit of €1.6 million last year on revenues of €390 million.

Passenger numbers saw above average increases in regional cities with Cork, Limerick, and Waterford also seeing a 13 percent jump.

The Labour Court recently made a recommendation that staff pay should increase by 7.75 percent over the next three years.

CEO Stephen Kent said that this is something that could be managed, adding that they will have to remain competitive as the market for bus providers opens up.