BUS ÉIREANN has confirmed that the 220 and 220x services will have their frequency increased to every 15 minutes to deal with capacity and reliability issues on the routes.
The routes service two of Cork’s busiest commuter towns, Carrigaline and Ballincollig, and have been the subject of a flood of complaints by users in recent months.
County Councillors have also continually raised concerns about the reliability of the 220 service that serves Ovens to Carrigaline; the 220X that serves Ovens to Fountainstown and the 223 which covers the city to Haulbowline.
Elected members had suggested the 220 and 220x routes should be split with a changeover in the city to allow for easier movement for people travelling from Ballincollig and Carrigaline, to and from the city, and to CIT and UCC.
Since being introduced in 2014 and 2016, passenger numbers on the 220 and 220x have doubled, carrying up to 115,000 passengers per month.
Bus Éireann regional manager Martin Walsh has now told councillors the company is actively engaged in hiring new drivers and will deploy more buses to increase the services.
Mr Walsh added that there was no timeframe for the increased capacity to come on stream. He said there would also be changes to the 223 service but did not confirm the details.
Several councillors in the Ballincollig/Carrigaline area have raised the issue of the Passage West Primary Care Centre’s services being moved to a new facility in Carrigaline with no direct bus movement existing between the towns.
Mr Walsh confirmed that there will be an extension of services from Passage and Monkstown to Carrigaline — including the new Primary Care Centre — incorporating Passage West which will be implemented this year.
However, there are no plans to extend Bus Éireann city services into Ballygarvan but the National Transport Authority (NTA) are examining connecting the area to the wider public transport network.
The NTA also has no plans to introduce new routes specifically for workers travelling from Carrigaline to Mahon, Ringaskiddy and Little Island.
In Cork city, there is an average of 2,636 bus movements per day with 972 through Patrick Street and Mr Walsh said the main issue causing delays in bus services arriving at their destinations are traffic congestion but the introduction of double-decker buses on several routes has gone some way to alleviating this.