Ryanair To Purchase Dublin Bus

Ryanair to Purchase Dublin BusThe government has announced this morning that it is to sell Dublin Bus, in a strategic sale of state assets to help with the country’s poor financial position.

Dublin Bus, which carries over 188 million passengers a year, has a fleet of over 900 buses and employs over 3,000 people, will be sold to Ryanair, in a deal that is rumored to be worth close to €500 million euro.

The Department of Transport, in consultation with the National Transport Authority, agreed to the deal, which has been in the works for several months now.

Dublin Bus has been incurring increasing costs over the years and struggling to make a profit. The latest annual reports for 2011 state that Dublin Bus had losses of €18.2 million and was a heavy financial burden on the country.

Minister for Transport  Leo Varadkar has welcomed the deal and says it’s a step in the right direction for the country. He said that the country would no longer need to be supporting a loss making service and that the money raised from the sale will help bolster Ireland’s economic outlook.

Changes

Ryanair to Purchase Dublin BusAlthough the Minister is framing this as a success for the country, many worry about the new cost saving and revenue increasing plans that Ryanair will implement.

Sources inside Ryanair have commented to The Potato that Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair,  plans to use the same business model that is already in place at the airline.

New introductions to increase revenue will see additional charges for baggage, including handbags, shopping bags, wheelchairs and prams being charged extra.

On top of these charges, a new ticketing system will be put in place, where commuters will have to pre book their bus ticket, 3 hours in advance of their journey time and have it printed off before boarding the bus.

Tickets will now be priced on a “demand-based” system, where the more popular routes will be charged at higher rates. Together with this, the sooner you are to the date you wish to travel, the more expensive it will be. (For example, people taking the 39a route, who fail to book their ticket a week in advance, could be paying over €11 euro for a single ticket, not including baggage fees.)

Routes that you book regularly will be tracked and stored and used to add premiums onto the cost of your tickets.

Seats will be removed completely, to add more space to the buses. When asked about the impact this will have on elderly people  O’Leary commented:

“If people can’t handle standing up for more than 30 minutes at a time, then maybe they’d be better off dead and not on my buses.” 

Bus drivers will also be removed entirely, replaced by the commuters themselves. People who take the bus, will now be expected to share the responsibility for driving to their desired locations in another cost cutting measure, which should see close to €12 million taken off the wage bill.

So, do you think this has been a positive move by the government? Let us know on our poll below.

Do you think it was a good idea to sell Dublin Bus to Ryanair?

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