Bus Éireann has today announced that they will be closing several inter-city Expressway routes, citing the financial challenges posed by the pandemic as the reason for making the decision.
The national bus company is to end the current Dublin-Cork, Dublin-Limerick and Dublin-Galway routes.
The Dublin-Belfast route has also been "suspended indefinitely", the company has stated.
While no cessation dates have yet been determined, Bus Éireann says the changes will likely take effect from early next year when the current Commercial Bus Operator emergency supports to the Cork, Limerick and Galway routes expire.
In a statement, the company said the decision, which was announced today following a board meeting, is "in response to significant medium-term challenges posed by Covid-19 in order to safeguard Expressway’s remaining 14 national routes and meet demand required on other city and commuter services".
"The X51 service from Galway to Limerick and the X1 service Dublin to Belfast have not been in receipt of emergency funding and services will formally cease on these routes over the next few months.
"The National Transport Authority is responsible for transport connectivity and will review requirements along these routes to mitigate any impact," the statement continued.
Bus Éireann Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Kent said:
"We have an opportunity through the July stimulus measures for public transport to increase our Bus Éireann city services in Cork, Galway and Limerick, as well other services as in Louth and Meath under contract to the NTA.
"This expansion will require more than 100 drivers which we can fully deliver by consolidating our Expressway network and taking a decision to withdraw from a small number of Expressway routes which would otherwise incur unsustainable losses and thereby avoid job losses in a very difficult trading environment."
Chief Commercial Officer at Bus Éireann Eleanor Farrell said the company will continue to keep customers updated and said they are working closely with the National Transport Authority on timing.
"A more sustainable footing allows us to make important investments into our overall network and these decisions will allow us to continue improving our customer experience, providing a platform for future growth, despite current Covid-19 challenges,” she continued.