Enhancing the public transport network in Cork City and county has led to Bus Éireann creating more than 70 jobs
Enhancing the public transport network in Cork City and county has led to Bus Éireann creating more than 70 jobs in the the last two years, with numbers likely to grow until year end.
The extra jobs include 60 full-time bus drivers and seven part-time clerical staff.
The company says that, as a result of increasing passenger numbers, a further eight full-time drivers will be recruited.
The extra jobs are due to streamlining and enhancements of a number of city and suburban routes in particular.
Bus Éireann, a finalist in the Cork Business Association Business of the Year Award earlier this year, contributes €46m to the Cork economy annually, and employs 532 people in the city and county.
The company’s manager for the southern region, Martin Walsh, said that there had been some significant developments in the Cork network over recent years as part of a continuing network review in conjunction with the National Transport Authority.
“There have been significant upgrades made to the Bus Éireann fleet, with the introduction of 15 new double-decker buses in 2015, and the introduction of a further four-double deckers and 16 Mercedes single decker buses in 2016,” said Mr Walsh.
Cork City and suburban services have seen expansion and improvements as well.
They include the Cork University Hospital-Mount Oval route via Glasheen Road, South Mall, and Douglas Village (216); the 226/226A route serving Kent Station, Cork Airport, and Kinsale; Cork-Rylane-Stuake (235); and the 245 Mitchelstown to Cork route via Fermoy, Rathcormac, and Glanmire.
Improvements to those services were made last year.
Services enhanced this year are the Apple Campus-Hollyhill-city centre-Mahon route (202), and the Lotabeg-city centre-Bishopstown/Curraheen route (208).
Frequencies have been increased on the 215 route serving Cloghroe-Blarney-the city centre-Ballinlough- Mahon Point, and the 215A route from the city centre to Mahon Point via the Boreenmanna Rd.
The 220X route serving Ovens, Ballincolllig, the city centre, the South Link, Carrigaline, Crosshaven, and Fountainstown also saw increased frequencies and more direct services.
“With the return of the academic year, it is envisaged passenger numbers will continue to grow on our enhanced network, but increasing traffic congestion may impact on service delivery too,” Mr Walsh said.
Figures show Cork City had the fastest-growing bus service in the country over the past four years. It is estimated that passengers spent €20m in fares during that period.
Figures from the National Transport Authority (NTA) showed the number of bus journeys in Cork increased by 20% since 2012, a bigger rise than in any other region, including Dublin.
Last year, the public took 11.7m bus journeys in Cork, a 7.3% increase on the 10.9m journeys recorded in 2014.
Cork City services, combined with Dublin commuter services, now account for 60% of all bus journeys.
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