Friday 2 October 2020

Wading Through The Black Lake (4)

 What's Happening To The 66 ...

... or might be happening if all goes well with Ireland's "Bus Connections" plan.

Reading from top to bottom, there are currently three variants of the 66.

The "main line" is the direct route to Maynooth as opposed to the "long way round" 67 to "Straffan Road" (a k a Maynooth Station) which we enjoyed (?) in yesterday's blog.
At the end of the town's very attractive High Street ...

... the 66 tuns left ...

... passes the 67 terminus and trundles along the R406 to a turning circle just short of the M4 interchange.

The existing 66 runs every 30 minutes ...
 ... as does the proposed replacement, the C3.
So no change there.

But there is a 66a!

It offers an hourly frequency ...
... to a newer housing area, River Forest, at Leixlip ...

... which Dublin Bus calls "Captains Hill".

And there's a 66B!

This also runs every hour, turns south at Leixlip and terminates at "Castletown", the name of a side road just beyond the terminus stop.
We can quietly ignore a few journeys to Maynouth numbered 66E.
The upshot of all this information is that there are FOUR buses an hour from the centre of Dublin as far as Leixlip, the first significant community beyond Lucan ...
... two to Maynooth and one each to "Captains Hill" and "Castletown".

So what happens under the "Bus Connections" plan?

Oh deary, deary me! There will no longer be any "normal" buses from Captain's Hill/River Forest and Castletown into the centre of Dublin. They are replaced by "local" 58 and 59 and a change in Leixlip.  That will go down a bundle with the local residents! What is more distressing that the the "core frequency" of four buses an hour into town from Leixlip is slashed unmercifully to two.

Yet again the politicians are proposing an "improvement" which is really a reduced service.

We have heard it all before.

Tomorrow, we will complete the sample with a quick look at the 25s.


Fanning The Embers?

Yesterday (1st October) saw the start of the all-electric coach service between Dundee and Edinburgh.

The coach also serves selected intermediate stops.
The company calls itself "Ember" ...
... and claims to be using two all-electric coaches ...

... which are slightly different. Fares are fixed at £7.50 single which is cheaper than Stagecoach Express and much cheaper than the train. The owners have reduced the seating to 35 per vehicle for extra luxury.

Booking is on-line (of course!) but drivers carry i-pads so they can take bookings (cashless presumably) on a "turn-up-and-go" basis - but slowly! At 1800 yesterday evening, times and availability were listed as here.
The service is hardly "clock-face" but time for charging the batteries is needed. Quite why detailed times at 1332 and 1634 are used, instead of 1330 and 1630, is not clear. Either the company had got its daily times just right or ....

... but it is surprising that pre-bookings are so evenly spaced.

Nevertheless it is an interesting business project; but it is hard to see how it can bring in huge profits with such low prices. Maybe we should expect fares increases as the popularity of the service grows?

 Next Dublin And Other Stuff blog : Saturday 3rd Oct 

1 comment:

  1. With Ember it is, of course, much cheaper to run an electric vehicle than a conventional internal combustion one. Electricity is much cheaper than diesel & maintenance costs are lower on the electric bus as there are fewer moving parts that need to be checked & replaced. You do have to sort the financing of buying the much more expensive electric vehicle but once that is sorted, and that is a big issue for the industry generally, it is feasible to make similar money on cheaper fares with an electric vehicle if the purchase side can be sorted.