About 80 people took part in the peaceful protest at St Brendan’s Church in the Glen, on the northside of Cork City, just weeks after Bus Éireann axed the No 12 service.
The move has left the area with just half the bus service it used to have.
The decision has hit pensioners, who now have no direct bus link to Blackpool, and parents of schoolchildren who have no direct bus link to St Aidan’s Community College in Dublin Hill.
Residents blocked the road yesterday just after 10am and boarded the 209 bus before calling on Transport Minister Leo Varadkar and Bus Éireann to restore the service.
Valerie Hogan, whose son, Jamie, five, travelled on the No 12 to school at St Patrick’s every morning, said she has been badly affected by the move.
“I found out about this five days before we were due back to school. I now have a €30 taxi bill a week. I just can’t sustain this. Jamie really needs the bus,” she said.
“We are being discriminated against big time,” claimed Lillian Skillington, whose daughter, 16, now has to walk from Mangerton Close to Dillon’s Cross to catch a bus to St Aidan’s.
“If they cut the No 8 to Bishopstown, there would be war. We don’t want to be discriminated against. We want our bus service back.”
Margaret Coughlan said the decision has left many elderly people isolated. “When the people making these decisions look at a map of Cork, they don’t see how long and steep this hill through the Glen is,” she said. “I would like to see Mr Varadkar walking up here, or cycling his bike up here in bad weather.”
Socialist Party Cllr Mick Barry said: “Bus Éireann should apologise to the people of the Glen and re-instate bus services without further delay.”
Residents voted to send a delegation to meet Bus Éireann managers at the company’s Capwell depot next Tuesday.
Pending the outcome of those talks, they are also planning a large protest at the depot on Thursday.
Bus Éireann has sent a request to the National Transport Authority for sanction to reorganise the nearby No 7 route.
A revised routing for the 209 is also being examined which will provide three connections per day between the city centre, Audley Place, Glen Avenue and Blackpool Shopping Centre.