Bus Éireann

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Bus Éireann
Bus eireann logo.svg
Broadstone July 2008, coaches awaiting wash and fuel - Flickr - D464-Darren Hall.jpg
Irizar PB bodied Scanias at Broadstone
depot in July 2008
ParentCóras Iompair Éireann
Founded2 February 1987; 34 years ago (1987-02-02)
HeadquartersBroadstone, Dublin
Service areaIreland
Service typeBus & coach services
Fleet1,200 (January 2018)
Fuel typeDiesel
NGV (Trial)
Chief executiveStephen Kent
WebsiteBusÉireann.ie Expressway

Bus Éireann (Irish pronunciation: [ˌbˠɔsˠ ˈeːɾʲən̪ˠ]; "Irish Bus") is a bus and coach operator providing services throughout the Republic of Ireland with the exception of Dublin Region bus services, which are provided by sister company Dublin Bus. It is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ). The company's primary hub is Busáras, Central Bus Station, located in Store Street, Central Dublin.


Bus Éireann Logo 1987–2000
Bus Éireann Logo 2000–2007

Bus Éireann was established in February 1987 when it was split out from Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ).[1] The logo of Bus Éireann incorporates a red Irish Setter, a breed of dog which originated in Ireland.

During 2016, it was reported that Bus Éireann amassed losses of around €6 million and that these losses were set to rise throughout 2017. As a result, Shane Ross, TD, the Republic of Ireland's Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, mentioned the company "faces insolvency within 18 months".[2] Bus Éireann concluded an all out strike on Thursday 13 April that lasted since Friday 24 March 2017.[3]


Bus Éireann's main services in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland in association with Ulsterbus include: expressway (intercity), commuter, local and school services. Additional services within Ireland include city services in Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford and town services in Athlone, Balbriggan, Drogheda, Dundalk, Navan and Sligo.

Bus Éireann operates international services to Great Britain and Europe, that are also provided via the ports at Dublin and Rosslare Europort. Cities served include London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. These are operated under the Eurolines brand.


‘Expressway’ is a division of Bus Éireann that provides intercity services throughout the country serving most of the main airports and cities in Ireland.

It is a commercial part of the company, which unlike the local and city services, does not receive government funding to operate.

Service expansion[edit]

The National Development Plan included a large expansion in commuter services, especially in the greater Dublin area, and so the company greatly increased services on routes such as Dublin/Drogheda/Dundalk, Dublin/Ashbourne, Dublin/Ratoath, Dublin/Dunshaughlin/Navan/Kells/Cavan.[4]

Bus Éireann has also introduced regular clockface schedules on popular Expressway routes, such as hourly services on the routes Dublin/Athlone/Galway, Dublin/Belfast, Tralee/Killarney/Cork/Waterford, Cork/Limerick/Shannon Airport/Galway.

The Dublin/Dublin Airport/Newry/Belfast route is jointly operated by Bus Éireann and Ulsterbus. At the time of the establishment of the company in February 1987, there were no bus services between Dublin and Belfast. Now there is an hourly service each way, from 06:00 to 21:00. In October 2006, further services were introduced on this route, departing at 01:00, 03:00, 05:00, and 23:00, thus the route became the first "24-hour service" in the country.[5] The service has since been upgraded to an hourly service, 24 hours a day. A similar service has been implemented on the 002 route between Dublin Airport and Wexford, which started on 18 January 2009. Services depart Dublin Airport for Wexford on the hour from 05:00 to 23:00, with services during the night at 01:00 and 03:00.[6]

As with the Dublin/Belfast route, the Dublin/Derry route is also jointly operated. On 4 September 2006, a new timetable on the Dublin/Derry route was launched, increasing the service level up to nine trips per day, including night-time services.

Bus Éireann has stated that they also intend to develop similar services to the 24-hour Dublin-Belfast route on the following routes: Donegal-Dublin, Ballina-Dublin, Sligo-Dublin and Drogheda-Balbriggan-Dublin Airport-Dublin.[5]

On 20 January 2009, Bus Éireann announced that it was to let 320 staff go and withdraw 150 buses due to the economic crisis. Some services are being permanently withdrawn or being reduced due to the cutbacks.[7]

Tourism services[edit]

Bus Éireann operates special one-day sightseeing tours from Dublin to locations such as Glendalough, Newgrange; from Cork, day tours to the Ring of Kerry, County Clare, West Cork, and Cape Clear Island; and from Galway, tours of Connemara and the Burren.

Real Time Passenger Information[edit]

RTPI - It is being run by the National Transport Authority under the brand Transport for Ireland, a single portal providing information on public transport in Ireland.

Real Time Information is available across the majority of Bus Éireann's services. The service provides up to the minute information regarding the arrival of a bus at a specific stop. It is calculated using the GPS location of a bus and estimated and changed with current traffic conditions. Real time information is available to passengers on the Bus Éireann website and also via the Real Time Ireland App.

Many stops across Ireland have real time information available at bus stops that allows the customer to see exactly when the bus will actually arrive.


Parnell Place bus station in Cork

Bus Éireann's bus stations have been upgraded in many locations around the country.[citation needed] The prime example is Cork bus station, located at Parnell Place in the city centre, which was remodelled as part of the city's preparation for being European Capital of Culture, 2005.

Other new bus stations include Sligo, Waterford and Letterkenny.


Bus Éireann has had a few fatal incidents in recent years, with those involving school buses being particularly scrutinised. After the death of five schoolgirls in a fatal accident in County Meath in 2005 involving a 1993 DAF MB230/Van Hool (ex front line expressway) school bus. All school buses are fitted with seatbelts from 31 October 2011.[8]

Some non-fatal incidents have also been quite serious, for example, an off-duty bus plunging into the River Liffey in Dublin, after a collision with another vehicle.

The company has also posted notices to encourage orderly queuing at bus stops after a series of incidents where pedestrians on the footpath were struck on the head by the wing mirrors of city buses.

Natural gas buses[edit]

Bus Éireann introduced the first NGV on 17 July 2012 in Cork. It operated on the 216 (Cork University Hospital - Cork City Centre - Mount Oval) route until mid-August 2012 on a trial that was undertaken in partnership with Ervia. The Eco-city bus was made by MAN.[9]


VDL Berkhof Axial outside Dublin Connolly station in July 2012

As of January 2018, the fleet consists of 1,200 buses and coaches.[10] The company mainly uses buses built by firms such as Scania, VDL Berkhof and Volvo. Bus Éireann's fleet have been substantially invested in as part of the National Development Plan. The vast majority of the operating fleet for expressway, commuter, and local services are now five years old or less.[citation needed]

Bus Scoile[edit]

Bus Scoile logo
Bus Scoile buses in Thurles depot

Bus Éireann operates the School Transport Scheme on behalf of the Department of Education and Science. County Meath VEC assist Bus Éireann in administrating the service in County Meath to all second-level schools.[11] Bus Éireann is responsible for planning routes, employing bus drivers, collecting fares and ensuring compliance with safety regulations and insurance.

The 'Schools' services were until recently operated by cascaded second-hand ex-frontline vehicles. Due to recent regulations regarding seatbelts, all dated and unsuited vehicles were withdrawn replaced with second-hand vehicles (mainly from UK). Since 2006 Bus Éireann has been purchasing brand new buses from BMC in Turkey. A roll out of BMC 1100FE started between 2006–2008.

A number of the routes are outsourced to local bus companies such as Dunshaughlin Coach Hire, Jerry Ryan, O'Rourkes, Bernard Kavanaghs, Bartons, and James Mullally Coach Hire.

Longford bus station has some ex-Dublin Bus school vehicles that are used on Bus Éireann services.


  1. ^ Córas Iompair Éireann Archived 5 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine Steve Johnson's Railway Pages
  2. ^ "Bus Éireann 'faces insolvency within 18 months'". Rte.ie. 10 January 2017. Archived from the original on 20 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Bus Éireann strike to continue and may escalate". Irishtimes.com. Archived from the original on 5 November 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  4. ^ The National Development Plan Archived 15 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine Bus Éireann
  5. ^ a b Ireland's First 24 Hour Inter-City Archived 11 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine Inside Government
  6. ^ Bus Éireann serving Dublin Airport from Rosslare Archived 14 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine Bus Éireann 16 January 2009
  7. ^ 320 jobs to go at Bus Éireann Archived 5 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine RTÉ News 20 January 2009
  8. ^ Safety Belts on Buses Archived 25 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine Road Safety Authority
  9. ^ Natural gas bus hits the streets in bid to cut fuel bill Archived 10 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine Irish Examiner 17 July 2012
  10. ^ Our Fleet Archived 10 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine Bus Éireann
  11. ^ School Transport Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Meath VEC

External links[edit]