Record-breaking number of customers on Cork bus route

Record-breaking number of customers on Cork bus route
Route 220 had a record-breaking number of passengers last year, according to Bus Éireann.

There were a record-breaking 1.3 million customer journeys on Bus Éireann's Route 220 last year.

This bus route is the first-ever 24-hour service in Cork and it began operating a year ago this month.

Route 220 goes from Ovens (EMC) - Ballincollig - City Centre - Maryborough Hill - Carrigaline (Liosbourne and Ferney Road). 

Since its introduction, Bus Éireann has seen an increase of over 70% growth on Route 220.

This route is run by Bus Éireann in conjunction with the National Transport Authority (NTA).

Since 2018, Bus Éireann has recruited 180 new drivers in Cork with 30 of these created specifically for the Route 220 service. 

Currently, there are over 400 drivers operating on Bus Éireann and Expressway services in Cork city and county, and these services carry up to 50,000 passengers every day.

Leap Card usage has grown to over 63% on all trips in Cork city and in early December, Bus Éireann introduced new ticketing software that has reduced boarding times for customers.

In Cork last year, Bus Éireann made a €25m contribution to the local economy. 

Cork general election candidates welcomed the positive news from Bus Éireann and called for more investment into public transport.

City Councillor Lorna Bogue, a Green Party candidate for Cork South Central, says this shows that Bus Éireann and the NTA must now look to expand other bus services in Cork.

"Just from talking to people you know that the expanded service has been a huge success, but to hear that officially it’s been such a tremendous success, is really amazing," says Councillor Bogue. 

"It shows that Cork people, when given a quality service, and the option, will choose to use public transport.

"Now the NTA have to look at expanding other services. I think the 208 that goes from Mayfield through the city to Wilton, or the 215 from Mahon out to Blarney, with the option of making them 24-hour services, look like really sensible suggestions now, given today’s news.

"In just one year an already busy service saw a 70% increase in passenger numbers. Who knows how much our existing services could improve if we gave them the same treatment?"

Labour Party general election candidate for Cork North Central and City Councillor John Maher has called for the introduction of a 24-hour bus service for the 221 in Glanmire, following the success of the 220.

"We now have the metrics to inform funding, 1.3 million passengers is astronomical and can be replicated on the Northside," says Cllr Maher.

"We now need the 221 route to be given the same priority and investment by Bus Eireann and the NTA. This will reduce congestion if properly funded and can be a game-changer in public transport for thousands of commuters in Glanmire and elsewhere on the Northside. 

"There can be no more waiting and seeing from the authorities. We have the statistics. It works. Get it done."

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