An example of what is wrong with Bus Eireann.

TheField

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We live in rural Ireland and have to drive to access a bus service. We have a choice of two Bus Eireann services to Dublin - one is a PSO subsidised route from Town A and the other from Town B is an Expressway service. The Expressway is approx 1/3 cheaper than the subsidised route and runs many times more a day. Both towns are the same distance from Dublin with a mile or two.

The principal reason as far as I can see that the Expressway is cheaper is that there is competition from private bus services from this town.

This shows up what is wrong with Bus Eireann. The publicly subsidised route from Town A is dearer with a poorer service. The buses are far less frequent and are often older stock. I suspect that the subsidies are being used to compete on the Expressway routes.

I have formed the opinion that if a subsidy was given to private company (ies) to run the service from Town A, that whatever about the frequency - the fares at least would be cheaper and reflect the public subsidy.

The government has to decide what is the role of Bus Eireann. Is it to provide a service to the public at reasonable prices or is it a vehicle to provide well paid and pensioned public service jobs?????????
 


Therightroad

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Hard to know whats best but its a bigger picture....do we want Bus drivers all earning just above minimum wage ....more and more people in this country are been paid bottom dollar ...whilst the rich are getting richer richer.....it will be like Russia...Denis O Brien and another couple of dozen will be oligarchs and the rest serfs who cant afford to but a decent pair of shoes....Fine Gael are encouraging this race to the bottom...
 

wexfordman

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I remember many years ago, the bus station in Waterford was being moved from one side of the bridge to the other. I used to interact with the staff regularly through work, and asked them one day when they were moving over


The response...

"as soon as they pay us disturbance money"
 

Spanner Island

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I remember many years ago, the bus station in Waterford was being moved from one side of the bridge to the other. I used to interact with the staff regularly through work, and asked them one day when they were moving over


The response...

"as soon as they pay us disturbance money"
The only 'disturbance money' I'd be giving them would be the dole.

F***in' chancers.
 

HereWeGoAgain

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The only 'disturbance money' I'd be giving them would be the dole.

F***in' chancers.
re/ your signature "If we had read transparency, real accountability and real consequences for crooks and the corrupt in Ireland, a lot of our problems wouldn't exist in the first place' - plus subject matter of this thread, worth reading:

CIE's story of secrecy and evasion published in Indo in November 2009
ONCE upon a time, there was a top- secret report. So secret was the report that it was never meant to see the light of day.

The report had a sheltered life until it tumbled accidentally into the public arena, courtesy of the Sunday Independent.
The report met lots of interesting people on its struggle into the public gaze. None of them seemed terribly anxious for the public to know about its contents.

Last week, the boss of Iarnrod Eireann (Irish Rail), John Lynch, appeared before an Oireachtas Committee to answer questions about it.
As a member of the committee, I asked the good doctor how much the report cost. The reply shot back: "The figure was roughly €50,000."

Which seemed reasonable value, but a little wide of the mark.
After Lynch's reply, there was a rapid whisper from the CIE spinner on his left. Dr Lynch moved swiftly to correct himself.

"Excuse me, I am told the figure is €450,000."
Perhaps he ought to have known.
Link to full article, click
CIE's story of secrecy and evasion - Independent.ie
 

Finbar10

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Hard to know whats best but its a bigger picture....do we want Bus drivers all earning just above minimum wage ....more and more people in this country are been paid bottom dollar ...whilst the rich are getting richer richer.....it will be like Russia...Denis O Brien and another couple of dozen will be oligarchs and the rest serfs who cant afford to but a decent pair of shoes....Fine Gael are encouraging this race to the bottom...
I'd agree that we don't want bus drivers on minimum wage, but there's no evidence that wages are hitting anywhere near that floor in private bus companies. According to the IT article here private Citylink and J.J. Kavanagh drivers were on about €36k. From CSO figures, the median wage for full-time permanent people in 2010 in the private sector was €35k. Private bus drives in these companies aren't generally on terrible pay, but it's not great either. They are essentially on a fairly typical private sector wage. Bus Éireann drivers are on about €49k (when all allowances, shift premium etc. are factored in). That's essentially a fairly typical public sector wage (close to the mean for full-time PS workers).
 

GJG

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Hard to know whats best but its a bigger picture....do we want Bus drivers all earning just above minimum wage ....more and more people in this country are been paid bottom dollar ...whilst the rich are getting richer richer.....it will be like Russia...Denis O Brien and another couple of dozen will be oligarchs and the rest serfs who cant afford to but a decent pair of shoes....Fine Gael are encouraging this race to the bottom...

I think this is a real issue, but the question is whether this can be tackled by subsidising a certain set of industries.

What about the people who work in the rest of the economy? I don't think that it is a public/private sector issue, because there are many workers, theoretically in the private sector, who can maintain their wages by instructing the government to outlaw competition, or subsidise their sloth. Bankers, lawyers, farmers, publicans and builders come to mind.

If the solution to loss-making in the non-competitive sector is to tax (one way or another) the competitive sector even more, then we will go down a spiral from which we can never recover. People who cannot or will not work at a reasonable rate don't have a right to a subsidy, especially when that subsidy is paid for from the taxes of people who don't get that benefit.

You are absolutely right that tackling the O'Briens and the like is also important but it is a separate issue, and there is no merit in the arguement that O'Brien is ripping off the system, therefore Bus Éireann drivers are entitled to rip it off too.
 

gatsbygirl20

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Hard to know whats best but its a bigger picture....do we want Bus drivers all earning just above minimum wage ....more and more people in this country are been paid bottom dollar ...whilst the rich are getting richer richer.....it will be like Russia...Denis O Brien and another couple of dozen will be oligarchs and the rest serfs who cant afford to but a decent pair of shoes....Fine Gael are encouraging this race to the bottom...



I heard someone on the radio during the week saying that the Bus Eireann drivers earn 33K at the top of the scale.

Trying to pay a mortgage, childcare, property tax, broadband, house and car insurance plus all the other bills on such a modest wage is inevitably a struggle

There seems to be this desire to drive down the wages of working people, or failing that, sack them.

Why would anyone work, or get up at 6 am and head off in all weathers to do a day's work if one's family is barely subsisting?
 

bormotello

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I heard someone on the radio during the week saying that the Bus Eireann drivers earn 33K at the top of the scale.

Trying to pay a mortgage, childcare, property tax, broadband, house and car insurance plus all the other bills on such a modest wage is inevitably a struggle

There seems to be this desire to drive down the wages of working people, or failing that, sack them.

Why would anyone work, or get up at 6 am and head off in all weathers to do a day's work if one's family is barely subsisting?
Really?
Private bus operators pay lower wages than Bus Éireann
State company pays average of €48,819 while rivals pay between €30,000 and €39,000
 

Therightroad

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I heard someone on the radio during the week saying that the Bus Eireann drivers earn 33K at the top of the scale.

Trying to pay a mortgage, childcare, property tax, broadband, house and car insurance plus all the other bills on such a modest wage is inevitably a struggle

There seems to be this desire to drive down the wages of working people, or failing that, sack them.

Why would anyone work, or get up at 6 am and head off in all weathers to do a day's work if one's family is barely subsisting?
Spot on...and then you look at travelers who have 8 or 9 children , refuse to work and get 50 to 60,000 of benefits ???....driving better cars than any Bus Eireann worker??
 

TheField

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Hard to know whats best but its a bigger picture....do we want Bus drivers all earning just above minimum wage ....more and more people in this country are been paid bottom dollar ...whilst the rich are getting richer richer....
I'm not sure about this business of the 'rich getting richer'. Maybe that applies to the likes of JP McManus and Bono but they're tax exiles and irrelevant. Anyway they wouldn't be using buses.

The people who pay their taxes and fund services like Bus Eireann are not by and large rich. The people who use Bus Eireann are not rich.

What is apparent in my simple example though is that the Bus Eireann model is screwed up. They get a public subsidy for one route but then charge 33% more for passengers on it and use old buses to boot. The drivers etc. complain about competition, but competition is what drives a reasonable fare for the public. The logical conclusion for the bus using public is that we would benefit from more competition. Competition is giving the public lower fares and better buses with wi-fi etc.

Hate to say it, but it's perhaps time to scrap Bus Eireann and use our tax payers money to subsidise a collection of private bus companies.
 

Finbar10

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I heard someone on the radio during the week saying that the Bus Eireann drivers earn 33K at the top of the scale.
Such figures quoted on the radio aren't always the whole story. Generally workers and unions downplay, for obvious reasons, what they are getting to get a better deal. The Gardaí recently did that very effectively (with hard-luck stories of eating cornflakes and sleeping in cars). Some NBRU salary scales here for Dublin bus: http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2016/09/payrates.pdf
Basic core salary (after 6 years) was 38k if Sundays were excluded from the roster and €43 if Sunday was part of it. Various other allowances and premium are mentioned also, so typical pay is probably higher than that.

Not Bus Éireann of course. Perhaps it is true that top of scale for that is €33k. However, without knowledge of various allowances and premiums, that doesn't tell us typical wage.
 

General Urko

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The fundamental thing wrong with Bus Eireann is that it is being run for the benefit of its management and employees while masquerading as a public service!
Cut management pay by 60%, Cut workers pay by 30%.
Also stop immediately the free travel pass for management and employees and their extended families unless entitled to it as a member of the general public would be!
 

Sister Mercedes

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The fundamental thing wrong with Bus Eireann is that it is being run for the benefit of its management and employees while masquerading as a public service!
You could say the same about every single part of the public sector in Ireland from the Schools to the Health Service to the Gardai to Montrose.
 

General Urko

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You could say the same about every single part of the public sector in Ireland from the Schools to the Health Service to the Gardai to Montrose.
Perhaps, but it is BE we are talking about!
 

im axeled

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I heard someone on the radio during the week saying that the Bus Eireann drivers earn 33K at the top of the scale.

Trying to pay a mortgage, childcare, property tax, broadband, house and car insurance plus all the other bills on such a modest wage is inevitably a struggle

There seems to be this desire to drive down the wages of working people, or failing that, sack them.

Why would anyone work, or get up at 6 am and head off in all weathers to do a day's work if one's family is barely subsisting?
is that 33k including all exes, what kinda pension will they recieve come retirement day, what is it costing to give their familys etc free travel, the keystones hid their top line pretty well, most got caught out by them, b.e. drivers will find it harder to camaflage their top line
 

irishmaninsalem

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The Gardaí recently did that very effectively (with hard-luck stories of eating cornflakes and sleeping in cars).
Only the very poor eat cornflakes?
 
Last edited:

TheField

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Also stop immediately the free travel pass for management and employees and their extended families unless entitled to it as a member of the general public would be!
I didn't know that the management & employees of BE and their families also all get a free ride. That's untenable, maybe a free ticket to get to work but even that's debatable.

And you're also quite right in calling for a cut in management salaries.
 

Finbar10

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Only very poor eat cornflakes?
Nothing too wrong with cornflakes I guess! :) The past account in the media of a Garda sergeant and his wife apparently forced to have "cornflake days" (eating nothing but cornflakes all day), so difficult did they find it to make ends meet, stuck in my mind as a memorable image.
 

gijoe

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We live in rural Ireland and have to drive to access a bus service. We have a choice of two Bus Eireann services to Dublin - one is a PSO subsidised route from Town A and the other from Town B is an Expressway service. The Expressway is approx 1/3 cheaper than the subsidised route and runs many times more a day. Both towns are the same distance from Dublin with a mile or two.

The principal reason as far as I can see that the Expressway is cheaper is that there is competition from private bus services from this town.

This shows up what is wrong with Bus Eireann. The publicly subsidised route from Town A is dearer with a poorer service. The buses are far less frequent and are often older stock. I suspect that the subsidies are being used to compete on the Expressway routes.

I have formed the opinion that if a subsidy was given to private company (ies) to run the service from Town A, that whatever about the frequency - the fares at least would be cheaper and reflect the public subsidy.

The government has to decide what is the role of Bus Eireann. Is it to provide a service to the public at reasonable prices or is it a vehicle to provide well paid and pensioned public service jobs?????????
Something similar in Tralee. Since Dublin Coach came on the Limerick/Dublin route Bus Eireann have been offering reduced fares but on the Killarney/Cork route the fares are ridiculous - Tralee/Killarney return is nearly €20 and its only circa 30kms.
 


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