Dublin Bus

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Dublin Bus
Dublin Bus logo.png
Dublin Bus, Volvo B9TL Alexander Dennis Enviro400 (07-D-30001) (8203457462).jpg
Alexander Dennis Enviro400 bodied Volvo B9TL with Dublin Bus branding
ParentCóras Iompair Éireann
FoundedFebruary 2, 1987; 34 years ago (1987-02-02)
HeadquartersO'Connell Street Upper, Dublin
Service areaDublin
Service typeUrban Bus services
Fleet1016 (2019)
Fuel typeDiesel and Hybrid Technology
Chief executiveRay Coyne

Dublin Bus (Irish: Bus Átha Cliath) is a bus operator providing services in Dublin. It is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann. The company carried 138 million passengers in 2019.[1]


Original logo from 1987 to 2000
Dublin Bus logo 2000–2007
Alexander bodied Leyland Olympian in March 1994
Alexander bodied Volvo Olympian in May 2003
Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL in August 2006
Line up at Ringsend depot in May 2010

Dublin Bus was established on 2 February 1987, when Córas Iompair Éireann was split into 3 subsidiaries, Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann and Irish Rail.[2] In September 2011, Dublin Bus received a significant technological upgrade with its introduction of real time passenger information.[3]


Dublin Bus operates an extensive network of 110 radial, cross-city and peripheral routes and 18 night routes in the city of Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area. The company carries around 325,000 people each day.[4] The main radial routes are focused upon Dublin's sixteen Quality Bus Corridors which provide buses with daytime access to the city centre.

Express buses (branded "Xpresso") operate on similar routes but have a limited number of stops and a higher minimum fare. These services run Monday to Friday at peak times and do not operate on public holidays.

Dublin Bus operates a "Nitelink" service of 18 routes overnight which up until January 2009 ran between Monday and Saturday, with the greatest service frequency being on Friday and Saturday nights. Due to cutbacks necessitated by the economic downturn in Ireland, the midweek schedule was scrapped.[5] Special (higher) fares apply on Nitelink buses.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the suspension of Airlink, Nitelink and some Xpresso services since March 2020. Since December 2019 routes 15 and 41 have operated 24 hours a day seven days a week with no difference in fare. Route 39a began 24-hour operation on 13 December 2020.[6]

Dublin Bus also runs a Ghost Bus Tour through some of the supposedly haunted places in the city including St Kevin's Church and St Audoen's Church.[7] The tour usually runs in the evening time and includes two stops where passengers leave the bus behind and visit locations where ghosts have allegedly been seen.[8]

In April 2010, Dublin Bus announced it would be simplifying many of its routes around the city in order to create better efficiency. This programme was called Network Direct. However, as part of these measures, the company also announced that 150 jobs would be lost.[9][10]

The RTPI system used by Dublin Bus, pictured at Liffey Valley.

During the 2010s, Dublin Bus rolled out an RTPI system (Real Time Passenger Information) at certain stops, which shows the amount of time before a bus arrives directly to the user.[11]

In 2016, the company carried 125 million passengers, which was a reduction of 14% compared to 2005 numbers (first full year of the Luas, which has seen an increase of 33.6% passengers in the same period).[12][13][14]

Between September 2018 and March 2019, 24 Dublin Bus routes and 125 buses were progressively taken over by Go-Ahead Ireland after the National Transport Authority put their operation out to tender.;[15][16] however an equivalent number of new buses were provided to Dublin Bus to retain existing fleet numbers, with increased services and new routes or route variations introduced on the same day as Go-Ahead took over each route batch.

Route Map[edit]

Uniquely for a capital city's primary transit network,[citation needed] no full system-wide street map is available online. Dublin Bus cites high licensing fees from the fellow state-owned company, Ordnance Survey Ireland, which published a printed street map every two to five years and included bus routes. However, the latest edition, published June 2011 omits these for the first time.

Dublin Bus' 'Core Route Map' does, however, provide some visual information about key routes in the city.


Dublin Bus fares are generally calculated on a stage system based on distance travelled. There are several different levels of fares, which apply to most services. Certain routes (particularly Xpresso, see below) use a different fare system.

Dublin Bus operates an 'exact fare' policy. Passengers place the exact fare in coins (notes are not accepted) in the farebox before the ticket is issued. In the case of overpayment, no change is given and the system of issuing 'refund due' receipt ended in September 2018. Routes 747 and 757, the express routes to and from Dublin Airport have a minimum fare of €7; banknotes are accepted, and change is given in cash.

There are several types of prepaid tickets available, including the following:

  • Single-day and multi-day tickets ("Rambler" and "Travelwide")
  • Tickets corresponding to cash fares (on airport or Nitelink services)
  • Travel 90-minute tickets which allow unlimited travel (or more precisely the right to board as many buses as required) for 90 minutes (available only as a ten-use smartcard)
  • Tickets valid on Dublin Bus and Iarnród Éireann or Luas or all three, but tickets valid for all three systems are issued only by Iarnród Éireann.
  • Leap card, a prepaid smartcard that can be used for pay as you go travel in the Dublin area. It offers discounts over standard on bus cash fares and can also be used on Iarnród Éireann and Luas services.

All of these tickets have migrated to the Leap card. This process was completed in May 2014 when all Rambler tickets, all Travel 90 and some in the Bus/Rail and Bus/Luas range were no longer available to purchase as separate smartcards. Instead, they are now loaded into the Leap card.

Prepaid tickets must be validated in a machine by the door of the bus at the start of each journey, although the validation process for leap cards differs depending on the distance being travelled.

Old age pensioners and children aged five and under (as of 1 December 2017) are allowed to travel free of charge; this is part of the national "Free Travel Pass"[17] system operated by the Department of Social Protection.

Minimum fares are payable on some services to discourage passengers wishing to travel short distances from using seats that could be used by those who wish to travel longer distances.


As of October 2019, the fleet consisted of 1008 buses.[18][19]

Quantity Manufacturer Type Fleet Code Passengers Length Entered Service
10 Volvo B7TL with ALX400 bodywork AV 91 9.9 m 2000–2005
50 Volvo B9TLT (Euro 4) with Enviro500 bodywork VT 119–124 12 m 2005–2007
100 Volvo B7TL (Mk. II) with ALX400 bodywork AX 91 9.9 m 2006
97 Volvo B9TL (Euro 4) with Enviro400 bodywork EV 94 10.2 m 2007–2009
49 Volvo B9TL (Euro 4) with Eclipse Gemini bodywork VG 88 10.4 m 2008–2009
148 Volvo B9TL (Euro 5) with Eclipse Gemini bodywork GT 78–81 10.4 m 2012–2013
546 Volvo B5TL (Euro 6) with Gemini 3 bodywork SG 95 10.5 m 2014–2019
2 Wrightbus StreetLite DF integral WS 37 10.2 m 2017
3 Wrightbus StreetDeck integral hybrid diesel-electric WH 2019
3 Volvo B5TLH hybrid diesel-electric with Wright Gemini 3 bodywork VH 2019


As the vehicles of the Dublin Bus fleet come of age, they are withdrawn to make way for newer technology. Types of significance such as the GAC Ireland have been preserved by the National Transport Museum of Ireland who house R1 (the first Dublin United Tramways Leyland double-decker service bus in Dublin).

Many ex-CIÉ types have been acquired by private preservationists, some of whom associated with the Transport Enthusiasts Club (TEC). The vehicles are garaged, restored and run by the owners without state funds and take part in films, television programs and in vintage rallies. One event was CIE 60th. 30 October 2005 saw Dublin Bus host CIE 60th in the new Harristown depot. This event was done in coordination with the Transport Enthusiasts Club. Buses, new and old, were on display, showing the contrast and how far the company had come.

September 1961 with the airport bus and horse-powered hackney carriage competition.

Dublin's main bus operator was formerly the Dublin United Transport Company. This company was incorporated into CIÉ in 1945.



In 1989, a youth grabbed the steering wheel of a Tallaght bound Bombardier KD bus as it turned the corner opposite Christchurch and the bus crashed onto its side. Many passengers were injured but none were injured seriously.[20][21]

Wellington Quay[edit]

On 21 February 2004, at Wellington Quay, Dublin, a bus mounted on pavement and crashed into a queue of 30 people, killing five and injuring 14. The driver was tried for dangerous driving causing death, his trial began in February 2007 at Dublin Circuit Court, but he was acquitted.[22]

North Strand Road[edit]

Bus accident on 5 February 2009 at North Strand Road

On 5 February 2009, a bus en route from Abbey Street to Artane collided with a tree on North Strand Road and the entire roof section was torn off. The driver was treated in hospital for shock but apart from that, there were no injuries as no passengers were seated in the upper deck. The bus was an Alexander ALX400.[23]

Dublin City Centre[edit]

On 16 September 2009, a collision between a Red Line Luas tram and a number 16 Dublin Bus from Ballinteer to Dublin Airport in Dublin City Centre at the intersection of Abbey Street and O'Connell Street injured 21 people. Three people, including the Luas driver, were cut out of the wreckage. The Luas was derailed in the accident. Two female passengers remained trapped on the bus for up to 45 minutes after the crash.[24][25][26][27][28]


On 16 March 2019, an out of service double-decker bus (VG 1) collided with a tram at the junction at Queen Street near the Smithfield Luas stop. Several people were hospitalised with non-life-threatening injuries.[29]


On 2 October 2020 at around 10.45pm at night a Dublin Bus vehicle (GT8) was involved in a crash with a stolen car at the junction of Northumerland Road and Haddington Road in Ballsbridge. 8 people were brought to hospital including the bus driver, the car occupants and a number of bus passengers.

Service overhaul plans[edit]

In July 2018, the National Transport Authority revealed proposals for a major overhaul of Dublin's bus service. Proposed changes include renumbering routes and concentration of routes along primary thoroughfares, increased frequency, simplification of fares to include integrated ticketing allowing cost-free transfer to other public transport services, and creation of many new orbital routes.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Massive Jump in Passenger Journey Numbers as Commuters Flock to Public Transport". National Transport Authority. 8 January 2020.
  2. ^ Córas Iompair Éireann Steve Johnson's Railway Pages
  3. ^ [1] Real Time Passenger Information
  4. ^ "Dublin Bus Route List". Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Dublin Bus cuts 290 and slashes services". Independent.ie.
  6. ^ "Nitelink Services - Dublin Bus". www.dublinbus.ie.
  7. ^ "Dublin Sightseeing GhostBus Tour". Archived from the original on 26 September 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
  8. ^ Walsh, Dave (2008). Haunted Dublin. Dublin: Nonsuch Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-84588-932-6.
  9. ^ "Inside Ireland". Archived from the original on 4 August 2012.
  10. ^ "9 – Dublin Bus". Dublinbus.ie. 28 August 2011. Archived from the original on 7 May 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  11. ^ "Real-time Passenger Information (RTPI) for Dublin Bus, Bus Eireann, Luas and Irish rail". Government of Ireland. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  12. ^ Annual Report December 2015 Dublin Bus
  13. ^ Annual Report December 2005 Dublin Bus
  14. ^ Frequently Asked Questions Archived 3 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine Luas
  15. ^ Dublin Bus loses control of 24 bus routes serving suburbs Irish Times 10 August 2017
  16. ^ Go-Ahead awarded outer Dublin metropolitan area bus contract Coach & Bus Week 10 August 2017
  17. ^ "Free Travel". www.welfare.ie.
  18. ^ Dublin Bus Fleet Dublin Bus
  19. ^ Dublin Bus Fleet - Midi Buses Dublin Bus
  20. ^ "KD95 - 1989 Overturned 50A". Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  21. ^ "RTE News Report (1989)". Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  22. ^ City Guides (21 February 2007). "Irish Independent National News". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  23. ^ "Bus passengers escape injury as roof ripped off in Dublin crash – The Irish Times – Thu, Feb 05, 2009". The Irish Times. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  24. ^ "21 hurt as Luas collides with bus in Dublin – RTÉ News". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  25. ^ "The Irish Times – Wed, Sep 16, 2009 – Luas collides with bus in Dublin". The Irish Times. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  26. ^ 16 September 2009 – 08:15 pm (16 September 2009). "26 injured as Luas and bus collide". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  27. ^ Home & Garden (16 September 2009). "Luas tram and Dublin Bus collide in serious crash – national News, Breaking News –". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 23 April 2012.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ "Several injured as Luas tram and bus collide in Dublin | Irish News". Irish Central. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  29. ^ "At least 8 hospitalised following Luas and bus crash". RTE. 16 March 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  30. ^ Paul Melia (2 July 2018). "Major Dublin bus changes revealed: 'Super frequent' routes, services renumbered, and a new two-fare system". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 July 2018.

External links[edit]