BUS Éireann has been slammed by commuters who are being forced to hitch to Cork, or hire taxis to get to work, because of over-capacity on one particular bus.
Maarten Stam and Tim O’Driscoll have both been regularly left stranded in Rosscarbery when the 237 bus from Goleen to Cork arrives already full in Rosscarbery – a problem they say has become increasingly the norm in recent months. Tim said he was left stranded at his bus stop three times last week.
‘I can go and get a taxi – which costs me €15 – as I work in the Clonakilty Technology Park, but there are elderly people going for hospital appointments in Cork and they are being left behind,’ said Tim. ‘A relief double decker bus was sent one morning and it worked a dream. We felt that finally they must be listening to the drivers, but it was a one-off.’
Tim added that it’s extremely frustrating for the bus drivers, too.
‘They are pulling their hair out and they know these people personally, as they are regulars on the bus.’
Maarten has found himself hitching three times already this month to get to work in Cork city. While his employers are flexible, he said it’s still extremely stressful not knowing if he will get a seat or not.
‘It’s a lot of hassle to be honest, and lately it’s been a gamble whether I can get on the bus. Sometimes I can get a later bus, but that’s not always the case,’ said Maarten, who also criticised the price of a return ticket from Rosscarbery to Cork which costs €27.70.
‘I have contacted Bus Éireann and reached out on Twitter and told them the situation here, but I haven’t heard anything back yet,’ he told the Star. Tim said he also contacted the service manager of Bus Éireann but again, has heard nothing since.
A Bus Éireann spokesperson said that all services are monitored by their local AVL (automatic vehicle location) control centre.
‘With the return of schools and colleges, Bus Éireann will be monitoring Route 237 and all other routes and will take all measures possible to provide sufficient transport where required,’ they said.
‘If customers have feedback on any routes nationwide, they can contact our customer care team by emailing [email protected]’