UK firm to take over Dublin Bus routes

Dublin Bus

Photo: Dublin Bus

A UK company has won the tender to take control two dozen routes on the Dublin Bus network. Go-Ahead, which currently operates 25% of London bus services, will take over 23 routes that serve suburban and outlying areas of Dublin, including the 17 from Rialto to Blackrock, the 33a from Swords to Balbriggan and the 75 from Tallaght to Dun Laoghaire. A new route, the 175, will connect Citywest with UCD. No city centre routes are included in the plan.

The changes are expected to begin by the end of November 2018, with Go-Ahead operating all of the affected routes by February 2019. Anne Graham, Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority (NTA) said, “This is ultimately about improving bus services for Dublin and NTA is confident that passengers will benefit from this decision. We believe that a new operator in the market will bring a fresh dimension to the way that services are offered.”

Dublin Bus was the only other company to make a formal bid after several other interested parties dropped out due to the requirement that the successful bidder provide a depot. In a statement, it said that it is “disappointed” by the decision and that it will “work closely with the NTA and minimise any impact on customers”. The NTA says that neither the Dublin Bus Company nor its workers are threatened by the news.


– The NTA’s Anne Graham said that the frequency of services on the affected routes would increase by “about 35%”. NTA still plans to increase the frequency of the remaining routes controlled by Dublin Bus and says that is likely to go ahead alongside the transfer of routes to Go-Ahead.

– Fares, frequency and scheduling will continue to be set by NTA, not Go-Ahead.

– You will be able to use Leap Card on Go-Ahead services, and they will appear on Real-Time Passenger Information screens, the Transport For Ireland website and apps.

– The operating model is the same as that which is currently in operation for Luas, and doesn’t amount to privatisation. Anne Graham said: “Luas is owned by the state and run by Transdev. These routes will be owned by the state and run by Go-Ahead.”


Go Ahead routes













17 Rialto to Blackrock

17a Blanchardstown Centre to Kilbarrack

18 Palmerstown (Old Lucan Rd) to Sandymount

33a Swords to Balbriggan

33b Swords to Portrane

45a Dún Laoghaire (rail station) to Ballywaltrim

59 Dún Laoghaire to Mackintosh Park

63 Dún Laoghaire to Kilternan

75 The Square Tallaght to Dún Laoghaire

76 Chapelizod to Tallaght (The Square)

76a Blanchardstown Centre to Tallaght (The Square)

102 Sutton Station to Dublin Airport

4 Clontarf Rd (Conquer Hill) to Santry (Shanard Road)

111 Loughlinstown Park to Dún Laoghaire

114 Ticknock to Blackrock Station

161 Dundrum Luas Station to Rockbrook

184 Bray Station to Newtownmountkennedy

185 Bray Station to Shop River (Enniskerry)

220 Ballymun (Shangan Rd) to Lady’s Well Rd

236 Blanchardstown Centre to Damastown

238 Tyrrelstown to Lady’s Well Rd

239 Blanchardstown Centre to Liffey Valley SC

270 Blanchardstown Centre to Dunboyne

New Route:

175 Citywest to UCD