Dublin Bus livery to be phased out from 2019

Joined: March 25th, 2016, 9:51 pm

May 16th, 2018, 6:29 pm #1

I know this isn't really a surprise to many, but now that it has been announced it's a great disappointment. The current livery is more vibrant and practical then the new dull livery. Especially the interior, where the new interior which has grey and shades of dark blue, making it lool very dull.

Now yes this is to 'unify' our bus service, however it has much to do with the NTA's policy of privitasation. This is also clear through, how there will be a 35% increase in frequency on the routes which the new private operater will tale over, which is definitely a benefit. However one must still be cautious of the fact, that this is also to influence people into believing privitasation is good. As when the new private operater will be operating these routes at a higher frequency, people will obviously be more satisfied with the service. Yes Dublin Bus will expand by 10%, but in what sense it is not clear. Whether its new routes or frequency increases or both. Not to mention that the NTA has cancelled the 40E for the foreseeable future, even though demand for it was there and Dublin Bus was ready to operate it.
Although this is the whole idea of Bus Connect, which in reality is nothing more than a code word for the privitasation of Dublin Bus/Handing over of some of the Dublin Bus routes to private operaters. Which was announced 6 months before it was announced that 10% of Dublin Bus routes will be privatised, so again the NTA most likely knew they would be privatising well in advance.







Last edited by Schachrechner on May 16th, 2018, 6:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Joined: September 19th, 2011, 4:36 pm

May 16th, 2018, 7:28 pm #2

Completely understand your sentiments Schachrachner. However Dublin Bus have issued a statement denying this change so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. In any case they are opposed to it (which their well worded statement has put in a nice way).
https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingn ... 43207.html

I’m sure the passengers on the 39A and 46A in particular who will be crammed into smaller buses over the next few years because of the same authority would really appreciate a change in colours!
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Joined: October 12th, 2016, 4:34 pm

May 16th, 2018, 7:57 pm #3

If I hear the word privatisation once more in the context of the recent NTA contracts...!

NTA contracts are NOT privatisation! It would be privatisation if Dublin Bus as a company were to be sold out on the shares market.
What the NTA are doing is demonopolising the public city bus services in Dublin. The semantical misuse of the word has been annoying me for the past year or so.*
This has been PSA.
Having to see Dermot O'Leary spouting that stuff is getting on my nerves too... He can start complaining the minute Dublin Bus are able to compile a coherent schedule.

*) I even went to check the Oxford English Dictionary to prove my point: "The transfer of a business, industry, service,etc., from public to private ownership and control." There is no private ownership nor control, as the services will be controlled by NTA.

Now.
As for the new livery. While I will not say a bad word against the exterior paint design, I am particularly disappointed in the interior design and the grey/silver handrails. This has a notable impact on the visually impaired, for whom the last colour that they are able to perceive is yellow. (Yes, I can hear that exterior argument, but the destination scrolls appear to remain as the amber LED displays that we have grown accustomed to, so I'm not complaining.)

As for Dublin Bus and the new brand. People will say that DB should go back to the green livery. Fine. I have a weakness for the 1960-1980s statewide red-and-cream livery used across Poland. Fine. Doesn't mean I want it back, for a few reasons (one, political, two, it won't work with about 96% of modern bus and tram designs). Similarly I think the green design of the 90s is simply outdated by modern branding standards - you'd have to brighten it up a lot for it to not look like a blob of depression.
In the end I do think that what should prevail is the cost of repainting DB's fleet into a new livery. Sure, some buses may be repainted as seen fit (cyclical paintjob refreshment or whatever), but I do genuinely think that, despite the benefits of an unified brand, DB will remain with its yellow-blue livery anyway.
Do imagine the outrage though if GAD were to take on DB's brand. "Usurpation", "foreign companies stealing identity", etc. would probably litter the relevant headlines.

John Lahart TD doesn't know what he's saying, I think, if the new livery will have significantly more of the actual Dublin colour (blue!) than the current DB livery.
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Joined: March 25th, 2016, 9:51 pm

May 16th, 2018, 8:46 pm #4

The word privatisation, depending on which dictionary one uses, the definition will vary, "It is the change from public to private ownership and control" or "The change from public ownership or control to private ownership or control." Essentially what has happened in the case of the NTA and Go Ahead is the later. Where the 24 tendered routes have or will be transferred from public control to private control. Now yes I know that the NTA will still own the buses, set the prices, the routing and (may actually own the depot, but we won't get into that as it's not established and whether it's true or not is unclear.) However Go Ahead a private company and will have control of the timetables, the running and looking after the routes and buses, therefore these 24 routes are being transferred from public control to what is private control, bar the three aspects listed. So while it may not be privatisation in its pure definition, it is a form of privitasation nonetheless. One which the NTA is very keen on pursuing.
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Joined: February 10th, 2010, 7:31 pm

May 16th, 2018, 9:54 pm #5

May I ask where does it say that DB are losing their livery, I saw an article in the Indo which was full of gibberish as usual, so we will ignore that.  Article also included stolen photos so nothing new there.  Also I can find no reference to DB getting rid of the VTs.  
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Joined: October 12th, 2016, 4:34 pm

May 16th, 2018, 10:14 pm #6

Still contextually incorrect and purposefully misleading, although most of what you stated is indeed true.
NTA are contracting Go-Ahead to operate services on these routes. Yes, NTA set the routing of the services, they set the fare charts, they own the vehicles to be used. They also dictate the level of service to be provided and the capacity of buses to be used. Go-Ahead will not have pure control of the timetables, as NTA will dictate the frequencies of services to be offered, and GAD will be tasked with creating a viable timetable based on the criteria set such that both their operating capabilities and service level requirements are met. They will be operating these services themselves, so very much like in London (and in fact, almost anywhere else that I personally know of!), the operational day-to-day control will be in GAD's hands. However, they will have a number of criteria defined by the contract that are to incentivise GAD to maintain a satisfactory and worthy level of service, therefore the final word is not with GAD, but rather, once again, NTA. Of course maintenance of the buses will be with GAD, but I'm not sure what you mean by "looking after the routes" (stop infrastructure? I'm led to believe NTA will be contracting that in a separate procedure).
Believe me when I say that I know what I'm commenting on - I have been ear-level-deep in bus service contract tenders for the past three to four years, and I have worked with private companies bound by contract shackles of the local transport authorities and have a level of understanding of how these contracts work... as unfortunate it is that the NTA contract with GAD is somewhere in the region of 250 pages thick.

Perhaps we would be looking at things differently if the contract was not to operate 24 routes, but say, 85 boards across the city? This of course requires a different level of service management to be a viable manner of contracting, but would we still be shouting "privatisation" left, right, and centre if we were introducing 85 buses of a different company to work on various services across the city to augment and/or replace in a controlled manner?

Can we just not use the word "privatisation"? The pejorative and misleading usage of the word is getting to me... "Contracting" is the correct word here.


@Redstarcastles,
I believe we have been mislead by a couple tabloid/online-only articles looking to hook on a "sensational" piece of information.
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Joined: March 25th, 2016, 9:51 pm

May 17th, 2018, 10:37 am #7

Well first of all I don't agree that I have made it purposefully misleading. Yes tendering/tendering out, speaking strictly is probably the most suitable word to describe what is happening. However, what has happened regarding the NTA and Go Ahead can be described essentially as privitasation. This is simply because Go Ahead will now have in their control the pay and conditions of all the staff that work for them, the maintenance of all the vehicles, the day to day running of all the routes, hence what I meant by running of the routes is that they will ultimately be responsible for operating these routes on a day to day bases, and curtailing them etc. due to traffic, driver breaks etc. and at the end of the day they are the ones who have the responsibility to provide the service on the 24 routes not the NTA. Hence what was before in public control has gone to private control, which is one of the main aspects of privitasation. Now I know tendering is the more correct term, but the use of privitasation is not incorrect.

Last edited by Schachrechner on May 17th, 2018, 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: October 12th, 2016, 4:34 pm

May 17th, 2018, 12:40 pm #8

I genuinely thought that between my Internet connection acting up and a metric ton of error 502s last night, that didn't post. Positive surprise... but I digress.

Alright, here's why it should benefit us then:
As it stands, Dublin Bus has a monopoly on the PSO city services in Dublin. Essentially they are the ones who control the network because they're the ones with the facilities and infrastructure to do so. I don't doubt that NTA has a level of shackles on DB, but I get the feeling that these shackles were made with copper from 7th century BCE. Dublin Bus appear to continuously maintain operational practices from years ago, no doubt due to the comfort of maintaining the status quo and the layers upon layers of union agreements with SIPTU and NBRU. Unfortunately, a small number of these practices and agreements serve to decrease the service quality levels from the passenger's point of view. DB appear to get away with it for perhaps any of the three reasons: either NTA don't care, NTA don't have the power to do anything (which they should by the PSO contract), or DB's position as the monopolist on the scene allows them to do as they wish.
Now, in the good scenario: Go-Ahead Dublin step in. It's already confirmed that they will, for example, get proper scheduling software (Excel is not proper scheduling software at the end of the day). This means that, amongst other beneficial things, breaking times will be actually relevant and duties are far more likely to be constructed in a legal and feasible manner, unlike in Dublin Bus where often handover times are shifted such that a duty can be constructed, that it appears legal on paper, but in reality is impossible to be worked properly most of the days because it results in breaking late or running late after handovers.
What would that mean for DB? Either one of two things: either they don't care because they still maintain a 90% majority and can do as they wish... or they step up their game. They see where operational practices can be improved. They see that it's possible to do things differently, perhaps improving for the passengers. Or not. It can go either way.

Perhaps now it's clear why I absolutely despise monopolies and see the eventual contracting out as a positive thing. If things go down, I'll bite my words, but for now I'm maintaining a positive outlook.
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Joined: March 25th, 2016, 9:51 pm

May 17th, 2018, 10:15 pm #9

I agree that Dublin Bus does have some outdated practices, when it comes to timetabling. However, I disagree that tendering of the routes is going to give the benefits the NTA claims. Simply, while Go Ahead may have a more with the times approach to scheduling, they have a higher fee and are paying drivers significantly less. Hence, while the NTA claims that passengers will get more out of this 'competition' in the market, all it will do is paying more for less.

Last edited by Schachrechner on May 17th, 2018, 10:15 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Joined: March 25th, 2016, 9:51 pm

May 17th, 2018, 10:26 pm #10

On another note back to the liveries, I do wonder why they added the shade of blue at the front which wasn't in the original option B from the Public Consultation that the livery came from.
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