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Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

Cork, Ireland
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Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

I feel Bus Éireann does not always get the credit it deserves. (See end of post for a little bit o’ history on Bus Éireann)

I have used Bus Éireann Expressway service on and off over the past few years and have yet to be disappointed.

Take for example my recent trip from Cork City to Dublin City.

I left Cork Bus Station at 12pm and arrived at Busaras in Dublin city centre at 4pm.

It was an Express bus which means it does not stop as often as the non-express !!

This included a 20 minute stop at Josephines in Urlingford which is about half way. At Josephines there are public toilets a restaurant and shop.

All of this for the princely sum of €9.50 adult one way. This was exactly half the cost of my return flight with Ryanair and is significantly cheaper than a similar train journey with Irish Rail.

The journey of 4 hours was the same time it took me to return by Ryanair from Dublin City Centre to Cork City centre a week later. 30 mins travel from City to Airport, 2.5 hours waiting at airport, 35 minute flight, 15 minutes waiting for bag, 15 minute trip to city centre. I’m not anti flight or rail here, just remarking that sometimes the bus can be just as, or more convenient than flying or taking the train.

On Bus Éireann, there are no baggage restrictions, you can bring what you like on board (within reason). You can buy your ticket on line, at the ticket counter or on board the bus. I must add too that the driver was a very pleasant and welcoming gentleman and would put many of the so called ‘flight attendants’ to shame.

Downside, if you are a bad traveller or suffer from any ailments that require frequent visits to the toilet then you may have to reconsider. Seats are not as comfortable as you would like on a 4 hour journey but it was not a problem for me.

So, make sure you check out Bus Éireann schedules when you are planning any itinerary here.

A little bit o’ history and a minor rant.

(Bus Éireann, is Irish translation of Irish Bus -the national bus carrier)

Bus Éireann and Irish Rail were previously one company known as CIE (Coras Iompar Éireann – now there’s a mouthful for you). The company split a few years ago to form Bus Eireann and Irish Rail. Big mistake as far as I’m concerned, but ho hum, not a lot I could do about it at the time. The split has made it very difficult for commuters/visitors to properly plan integrated bus/train journeys around the country. Another bug bear of mine is if I ask at a Bus Eireann enquiry desk for a rail schedule they will not provide it and vice versa because they are two separate companies. Bizarre.

toronto, canada
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1. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

Byrno, your post is very timely. I will be in Kenmare, and must make a trip to Budapest due to a serious emergency. I have a flight from Dublin that leaves at 3pm on Monday, Sep 3. I've been checking train schedules, and expected I would take the 7:52 train from Killarney to Heuston, then the bus 748 to Dublin airport.

Can I simplify this by taking a bus from Killarney directly to Dublin airport? I'll be arriving back in Dublin late Wed. night, but will worry about that leg of the trip later. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Waterford, Ireland
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2. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

Fair enough Bryno, and I would agree about Expressway, its a very good service. Its a pity then that the local buses don't work to the same level of quality in terms of buses being on time, not whizzing past stops (yesterday) when a group are waiting and the bus is not full. And where I live, not seeming to know what the routes round the town are, each driver seems to have his own version of the route! No indication on bus stops as to when a bus might be expected. No routes on newish sections of road that would make overwhelming sense. No co-ordination between train times and local buses - the bus is pulling out as the train comes in, well it used to, now the train station and bus station are quite a distance apart. Long gaps in the service at odd hours of the day. I'm now listening to my third student ranting about the buses, but more to the point I am hauled out to provide a taxi service when the bus service fails. Rant, Rant.....

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3. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

The bus from Killarney to Dublin Airport will require a change in Dublin definitely, it also might require a change in Limerick. The train will be much quicker.

one-way journeys are cheaper if you book online as opposed to buying the ticket in the station on arrival. see www.irishrail.ie

toronto, canada
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4. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

I was reluctant to book the train on-line, but it would be hugely convenient. Do I get a confirmed ticket to print out if I do that? I don't want there to be any mixup. Thanks.

Cork, Ireland
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5. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

Doneraile I agree with you. I do not use my local Bus Eireann bus as the service is rubbish, hence the reason we have two cars and a bike.

Jec, Yes you can book your train ticket on line. You are given a reference no., then when you get to the train station, you slip your credit card into one of the ticket macines, type in your ref no and the ticket is printed there for you.

It's a good system.

Cork, Ireland
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6. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

RE getting the bus from Killarney to Dublin. I agree with Irish eyes, get the train as you had planned. I think this is one situation where the train is the better option.

toronto, canada
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7. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

Thanks, everyone. I booked on-line and got my reference number. From what I see on the website, only certain statons have ticketing machines, and Killarney isn't one of them. But I can pick up the ticket at the booking office.

Dublin
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8. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

Service has improved considerably in recent years, though I would put a lot of that down to competition.....

will never forgive them for the hassle they put me through in my 'youth', walking 30 minutes to a bus stop for a bus that doesn't come......used happen at least once or twice a month.

Cork, Ireland
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9. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

Billiy, yes I agree, THANK G0D for competition. CIE was a depressingly bad company to have to deal with.

##"Service has improved considerably in recent years, though I would put a lot of that down to competition....."##

Jec, correct the smaller stations do not have auto ticket machines so just go to the ticket office and collect it there.

Tip: If I have time I generally collect my ticket before the day of travel if this is practical for me to do. It just means on the day of travel it's one less thing to do.

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10. Re: Thumbs up for Bus Eireann (www.buseireann.ie)

Jec, most stations have ticket machines where you can buy a ticket on the spot, however the machines for picking up prebooked tickets are different. So in your case you will just go to the office and they will give you the ticket as Killarney doesnt have a machine for issuing prebooked tickets as it wouldnt be as busy as some main stations.

The machines for picking up prebooked credit card tickets are green and the ones for buying a ticket on the spot are orange. Its very easy to distinguish them even though they are identical machines they are just different colours.