Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Fine Gael Cllr Patricia Gosch made the proposal ahead of a protest march in the city this morning over proposals to axe two crucial city bus routes.
From mid-June, Bus Éireann plans to cancel the number 12 and a number of northern orbital bus routes.
But Mr Gosch called on company management last night to introduce smaller buses on the number 12 route that she said could keep the service running.
“I am simply calling on Bus Éireann to take a more flexible approach to this issue,” she said. “Mini buses are used successfully by bus companies across Europe on routes with lower passenger numbers and I can see no reason why that should not be the case in Cork as well.
“Using smaller buses would enable Bus Éireann to make significant savings on operating costs while maintaining the number 12 which is a vital public service for the people of the north side.
“The people of The Glen and Dublin Hill deserve a regular reliable bus service and this can still be maintained with just a little imagination.”
The number one orbital route connects the northside with the southside, serving institutions like Cork Institute of Technology and Cork University Hospital.
Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe has publicly stated he is “disappointed” at the prospect of this service being cancelled.
Meanwhile, a major protest march over the proposed cuts is due to take place in the city at noon today.
Organised by the Socialist Party, protesters are expected to gather at City Hall at noon before marching to Bus Éireann’s Capwell depot.
Up to 300 people protested on the streets of the northside two weeks ago to save the bus services.
However, Bus Éireann management told local politicians later that they will press ahead with the cancellation of the services.
Protest co-ordinator, Cllr Mick Barry, urged people who will be affected by the cuts to take their protest right to the doorstep of Bus Éireann management tomorrow.