The Wonderful Experience of the Dublin Bus

Before I came to Dublin, everyone told me that transportation is great. “Buses run everywhere, you can get everywhere with the bus!” Well that’s true, but only if you have an hour to spare. We found that in a lot of cases, walking is actually faster than waiting for the bus, missing your connection and waiting for the next bus. We are currently staying a little far away from the city. One bus comes right by us and the nearest tram is a 15 minute walk, so it’s alright. The bus system though seems poorly managed and here is my take on why:

1. Always late. Just now we had to take one bus and get a connection. Of course the first bus was late. We get off and check the sign and see our next bus is half an hour away, meaning we missed the connection. Seconds later, our bus shows up. I guess it was late? But shouldn’t the marquis with the upcoming buses be accurate? Well I guess not.

2. Upcoming bus data incorrect. See above. Also there are plenty of times where we have seen “3 mins” til the next bus and it is actually 10 minutes that the bus arrives. Okay then.

3. If the bus is full, you’ll be ignored. This also happened to us today as we visited The Howth Peninsula. Twice we hailed a bus and it just speed by, completely ignoring us. We walked a couple stops up with other people waiting and they said the bus had skipped them too and it must have been full. We walked another 2 bus stops to increase our chances of getting a different bus and finally the bus (the original one we wanted) stopped. We continued riding and while the bus was full, it wasn’t packed, and the bus completely ignored several other people at future stops. Like come on you just ruined their evening now and you definitely could have fit at the least a couple more folk.

4. The routes actually make no sense. Why does the bus twist and turn when a normal bus line follows a mostly straight line? Why are we weaving through residential areas? Do they not realize that turning is very slow and seemingly difficult with a double decker bus? Don’t straight lines make so much more sense???

5. Price. The public transportation system is paid mostly through the LEAP card system, basically just a tap and go card with your prepaid funds. What’s annoying is your ticket is per bus and is not over a time span or with connections. So if you need to take a shorter bus as a connection, it’ll cost at least an extra €1.50 or 20 minutes of walking to get to the other bus. Pretty annoying if you ask me, especially if the connection doesn’t time properly. The leap card does have a daily cap limit of €7, BUT if you take the dart or the luas tram then the daily cap is €10. I’m having trouble figuring out whether the different services are separate companies or connected in any sort of way. It’s a bit confusing and I can never figure out how much anything is supposed to cost!

Overall I’m not super impressed with the bus system in Dublin. It’s getting easier as I figure out how to time things or how to time it to match the trains, but nothing seems very straightforward. I’ll update as I learn more, but for now I gotta get some more experience. Happy traveling!

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