Bus Eireann warns demand for Expressway travel is well beyond capacity

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Bus Eireann are advising people to save bus travel for essential journeys as many Expressway routes in Galway and around the country are facing a demand beyond their capacity.

Bus Eireann is currently operating at 50% capacity on each bus to comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

This means that the Expressway Intercity service currently has a capacity of 8,000 seats, compared with 16,000 before the pandemic.

Furthermore, 64 per cent of licenced coach and bus services are currently not operational, very substantially reducing capacity on intercity routes from pre-COVID levels.

In the past few days Bus Eireann has said that multiple expressway services on Route 51: Galway – Cork, Route 51: Galway – Ballina, Route 20 & X20: Galway – Dublin, and Route 64: Galway – Derry has been at full capacity setting off.

This can have a big impact on people who want to travel from the intermediate stops on those routes, as they may not be able to board if the bus is full up with intercity travel.

We very much regret that, despite all of our available coaches and drivers being deployed, at the moment some people are not able to board Expressway services when they wish to travel,” said Eleanor Farrell, Chief Commercial Officer, Bus Éireann.

She added that public health and safety are their top priority, and there will be no flexibility on going beyond the permitted capacity.

“We realise this is disappointing, and also that it can be challenging for our drivers. No-one wants to leave people without transport.”

Full services can be of particular concern to people wishing to travel from intermediate stops and we anticipate that demand may continue to increase,” continued Eleanor Farrell.

People are being encouraged to consider if their journey is absolutely essential, and to check the Expressway and Bus Eireann live Twitter feeds on bus capacity.

The busiest bus times reported at the are from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm and from 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm. There is also increased demand on weekends, especially Friday afternoons and Sundays.

“We very much appreciate the understanding and cooperation of customers and our staff as we manage demand through these unprecedented times and look forward to keeping people connected around the country.”