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Nitelink – Dublin’s night bus returns

The return of Dublin’s night bus sparks a conversation on the value of accessible public transportation and if there is a need for a better service. Local Councillor Declan Meenagh and a TU Dublin student share their thoughts.

The Nitelink recently returned to the streets of Dublin on January 28th after it was temporarily shut down in December.

The late-night bus service was first introduced back in 1991 to tackle the rise in drunk driving.

Since then, it has grown to 13 late-night and early morning routes at the weekends across the greater Dublin area.

The Nitelink operates from midnight until 4 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Image via Unsplash
Photo Credit: Unsplash

Dublin Bus said in a statement: “The Nitelink service accommodates those who work shifts requiring travel at night or in the early morning and supports the night-time economy. It will complement existing 24-hour services which are already currently in operation seven days a week across the following routes:

Route 15 – From Ballycullen Road via city centre to Clongriffin.

Route 39a – Connecting Ongar, through the city centre, to UCD Belfield.

Route 41 – City centre to Dublin Airport and Swords.

Route C1 – From Adamstown Station via Lucan Road, City Centre to Sandymount

Route C2 – From Adamstown Station via Lucan Road, City Centre to Sandymount.

Route C5 – From Maynooth Train Station, City Centre to Ringsend Road.

Route C6 – From Maynooth Train Station, City Centre to Ringsend Road.”

I believe that efforts should be made by the government to reduce public transport fares overall, so that less people use cars which should lessen traffic and reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions

Maria Chamney – Final Year Marketing Student at TU Dublin

The Nitelink bus service was halted back in December in response to the increased Covid-restrictions that led to an 8pm curfew on bars and restaurants.

Even though the nightlife market was gone for the Nitelink, many people who work late shifts would have still depended on the service.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Labour Party Councillor Declan Meenagh, representing the local Cabra-Glasnevin area, said, “I think it was a bit silly to be honest. I think there does need to be some sort of centralised transport provision, I just think The National Transport Authority doesn’t really listen to people.

“Imagine working in a hospital and coming out of a late shift and suddenly they cancelled the Nitelink,” said Meenagh.

The cost of the Nitelink fare is €4.50 with the Leap Card or €6.60 if paid with coins.

Meenagh said, “It’s expensive and I don’t think it needs to be. If you are in Berlin or other cities, late night transport wouldn’t be as expensive.

“We need a more modern transport service. I think what a lot of people maybe forget or don’t care about is that a lot of people work late at night. A lot of these workers are low paid, so we really need some sort of 24-hour transport system,” added Meenagh.

Photo Credit: Ruben McCarthy

Maria Chamney, 21, is a final year marketing student at TU Dublin who uses the Nitelink frequently to make her way safely home after a night out in Dublin city. She said, “the Nitelink is in dire need of being more widely available across different routes.”

Chamney added, “The way I see it, if more people have access to the Nitelink, more people will be willing to go out and socialize more. This should cause an increase in spending in places like pubs and nightclubs as well as other social spaces. This should have a positive impact on the economy, which is greatly needed after Covid-19.”

We need a more modern transport service. I think what a lot of people maybe forget or don’t care about is that a lot of people work late at night. A lot of these workers are low paid, so we really need some sort of 24-hour transport system

Labour Party Councillor Declan Meenagh

When it comes to the cost of the Nitelink, Chamney said, “While the Nitelink fare is more expensive than a usual bus fare, I do think it is reasonable when you consider the cost of alternatives. These options could include getting a taxi – which is more expensive, or walking home – which can be dangerous, especially as a woman.

“However, I think public transport as a whole needs an overhaul in Ireland, especially when you compare it to the free public transport seen in Luxembourg,” said Chamney. “I believe that efforts should be made by the government to reduce public transport fares overall so that less people use cars which should lessen traffic and reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions”, .

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