The new chief executive of Dublin Bus is to tell politicians that the “vast majority” of its services operate on schedule but he will also renew an apology to passengers who have had a poor experience.
Billy Hann is to make the remarks during an appearance at the Oireachtas transport committee.
The committee has been examining the provision of bus services in Dublin amid concern about delays for commuters and the accuracy of real-time passenger information (RTPI) such as electronic signs at bus stops.
Representatives of Dublin Bus and private operator Go-Ahead Ireland apologised for issues with their services at a committee meeting last month.
Both companies will provide updates to the committee on Tuesday on efforts to improve the situation for bus users.
Mr Hann, who has been in his new role since December 1st, is expected to acknowledge that there has been “strong criticism” of recent service delivery by Dublin Bus and other public transport operators.
He will say his company’s focus is on providing safe, comfortable and efficient journeys to the more than 460,000 people that use Dublin Bus on an average weekday.
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His opening statement says customer demand is now exceeding pre-Covid years and the “vast, vast majority of our services operate on time and on schedule”.
However, he also says “the recent pace of network expansion has placed significant pressure on the company” as it seeks to deliver new and existing services.
Mr Hann says the “current challenges” are being managed through additional overtime; adjustments to services that “have the least adverse impact on customers”; a “strong focus” on improving customer information services; and an “extensive recruitment campaign”.
He adds: “There is no doubt that we have found this challenging, and I would like to apologise to any customers who have had a poor customer experience when using our services in recent months.”
He also says: “I am confident that improvements seen in recent weeks can be maintained as we build towards 2023.”
TDs and Senators will be told that 319 drivers have been recruited since January with 39 of these coming on board since the last appearance by Dublin Bus at the committee.
Mr Hann will also address the reliability of RTPI like on-street electronic signs at bus stops and smartphone apps.
The committee will hear that the performance of the systems is being monitored and new software delivered this month has resolved some technical errors.
A large on-street survey has found that RTPI is now operating at nearly 98 per cent accuracy.
Andrew Edwards, the managing director of Go-Ahead Ireland, is also due to appear at the committee.
His opening statement recalls last month’s meeting when the committee was told that staff shortages and traffic congestion were impacting on Go-Ahead’s services.
He will say that Go-Ahead Ireland apologised for service impacts at the time and committed to improvements across its network by the end of 2022.
Mr Edwards will tell the committee that it is interviewing between 40 and 50 job applicants per week and will be close to its targeted number of drivers by the end of the year.
He says: “It should be noted, however, that certain routes do still experience day-to-day disruptions which we acknowledge and are continuously working to address.”
“Congestion has been a challenge in recent months,” he adds, saying the company has been working with Dublin City Council “to support traffic light priority for public transport”.
He says: “We do believe that bus priority enforcement is something that should be looked at to ease overall congestion and improve safety.”