Tag Archives | Dublin Bus

How much is walking that little bit extra worth to you?

A common New Year resolution money saving / healthy living tip you’ll regularly read in the newspapers is to change your daily bus / train commute a little so that you walk a little bit extra every day, and spend a little bit less on your ticket. So, in the morning you’d walk a bit closer to work and get on the bus or train a stop closer to your destination, while in the evening you’d get off a little bit further away from your house and walk the rest of the journey home.

Rather than just dismissing such advise with a “come on, Charlie / Conor / Sinead, what about us living in the real world where it’s hard to get up in the morning to get the time to walk more and where our jobs mean we need to get home to relax as quickly as possible”, have you ever seriously looked in to it?

Take 6 minutes to check it out
Can you make these changes to your daily commute? Can you quantify the benefit? Check out your transport timetable, check the stop locations, and check the ticket stages / costs. Is there a stop within walking distance in the morning that if you walked and boarded there, you could drop to a cheaper fare? And similarly in the evening, if you got off at that stop and walked, would you be on the cheaper fare as well.

I appreciate your commute might not entirely lend itself to such a discussion, but if you’re driving every morning, are there other things to investigate? Do you pay for parking – if so, is there a cheaper car park further away from your normal one that charges less, and you could walk the rest of the way to work? If parking costs not an issue, could you just park up somewhere else a distance from work anyway, and just walk the remainder.

Actual Benefits
I checked all this out for my daily commute. For me, it works out that I can walk to a stop closer to work for the morning bus journey, and can get off the bus two stops earlier in the evening. The walk in the morning is 800m, and 700m in the evening, and the cost saving is 55c each trip (based on current 2015 LEAP card charges).

Roll that up over a working year, that equates to walking an additional 375km per year and a cash saving of €275 for the full year.

Win. Win.

Okay, so it’s hard get up that bit earlier on cold freezing icy mornings to walk a bit more, and just as hard on dark wet evenings to get off the bus that bit earlier, but the bigger picture view should help. Maybe tracking my success in sticking to the plan, and potentially promising myself something nice with the money saved at the end of the year will help with that little bit of extra motivation as well.

In the 22 working days since the start of the new year, I’ve so far managed to stick to the plan for all 22 of those days. Not too shabby, so far.

Of course, if I was to be really practical, I wouldn’t be promising myself treats with the money saved, but I’d be planning to use the money saved during this year to top-up my LEAPcard next January when the Christmas induced financial squeeze kicks in.

With the savings to be made in 2015, I could pay for my travel daily all the way to Friday May 13th, 2015.

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The Benefits of the Tax Saver Scheme with Dublin Bus

Here’s a great example how you should regularly review financial type decisions just in case things have changed – either the offers available or your own circumstances.

Sometime in the past, I had decided that it wouldn’t have been worth my while buying an annual Dublin Bus ticket through the Tax Saver scheme.

However, after looking at things again (particularly because of my increased use of public transport), I absolutely have to buy an annual ticket through the Tax Saver scheme – check out the savings I’m going to make below.

A saving of over €450 – what a fantastic boost for the savings! And that’s not even counting any extra journeys that I might take by bus at the weekends.

So there you go – just because you decided that something wasn’t worth your while in the past doesn’t mean you can’t find benefits now or in the future. Think back over your past financial decisions and see if you could revisit any of them to see if things have changed.

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Dublin Bus – Consumer Watch “Bad Value of the Week”

Gareth Naughton gave Dublin Bus his “bad value of the week” dubious award yesterday in the Sunday Tribune. His reasoning is here:

I don’t know about you but I have no desire to subsidise Dublin Bus any more than I already do, yet bus drivers seem determined to charge customers over the odds for their journeys. Giving change takes a couple of seconds yet most drivers seem to think it’s OK to keep back the odd five or ten cent on behalf of Dublin Bus rather than bother printing out a change receipt. Five cent may not seem like much but it mounts up over time. Don’t be afraid to demand your change: it’s your money and they have no right to keep it.

I wrote about problems with Dublin Bus drivers and their change giving habits here, way back in December 2007. Though, in the past while, I have to admit that I thought that the Dublin Bus drivers were getting better at giving change tickets recently.

Remember though, as Gareth says above, it’s your money, so make sure you get your change ticket. Even if you’re a bit shy, just stand there, waiting – don’t pull the ticket out until the driver adds the extra change ticket to the end of it.

And if you build up a bundle of these tickets – and make sure you keep both parts of the ticket in order to get the refund – you could think about sending them off to a charity of your choice to do a little good with your bus ticket change. I send mine onto the DSPCA – with a specific request that they help out the dogs in their care.

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Why are shops blacking out or tearing off price labels?

Irish News of the World

Sunday April 5th, 2009

Diarmuid MacShane

Why are shops blacking out or tearing off price labels?

In the past couple of weeks, ValueIreland.com has received numerous e-mails from readers asking why in many shops now they’re seeing labels that are torn up or have been blacked out with heavy markers.

The main reason, following the big euro-sterling price conversion controversy last year, is to hide from us what the sterling of the products in our shops are.

Shops mistakenly think that by tearing off or covering over the sterling price, that we’re not going to know that we’re still being ripped off.

And they’re doing nothing wrong – as long as the correct prices are shown in Euro on the price tags, there’s no problem in removing the sterling prices.

Another interesting phenomonen reported to us recently was where shops in are blacking out the old (pre-January price rise) pre-printed price on old stocks of tickets and then charging the new price.

Again, there’s probably no legal issues in doing this, but you’d have to wonder what the bus companies think of this practice?

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Retail outlets dodgy sales tactics for Dublin Bus tickets

I was sent this picture of two Dublin Bus Travel 90 bus tickets. The one on the left was bought in February – the new batch of Dublin Bus tickets following the January price rises. The one on the right was bough in early March.

Turns out the ticket on the right is an old pre-January price rise ticket where they’ve markered out the old price and have charged the new price. Very “sterling v euro” pricing type of activity. Bit dodgy, but I’m not sure there’s anything illegal about this – though maybe Dublin Bus would like to know that one of their retailers is engaging in such activities.

I’ve written about this before here, but it’s worth repeating again. Whenever Dublin Bus increase their prices, it’s always worth going straight to Ticketmaster following the announcement and buying up a batch of whatever tickets you use at the old price, thereby beating the price rise for as long as possible.

As an example, at the moment, I’m still using tickets that I bought last January at the old price before the price rises. Traveling in 2009 at 2008 prices!

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Ticket prices are not fare

Irish News of the World

Sunday March 1st, 2009

Diarmuid MacShane

Bus Eireann ripping off their loyal customers

In the past couple of weeks, ValueIreland.com has received numerous complaints from its readers about the way Bus Eireann is ripping off its annual bus ticket customers compared to those of Dublin Bus.

This is particularly upsetting for people living in the commuter towns of Meath, Kildare, Wicklow and Louth.

A reader from Ashbourne told us that their annual ticket had gone up 10% to over €1500 for 2009 with Bus Eireann.

Whereas if they lived in Balbriggan – which is further away from Dublin city centre than Ashbourne the cost would be only €980. That’s a saving of 30% but even more, the Dublin Bus ticket includes unlimited use on ALL Dublin bus services including Nightlink and Airlink which the Bus Eireann tickets do not.

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Save money on your Dublin Bus tickets

I blogged about this very same subject this time last year as well, and the timing is important, so here we go again.

Dublin Bus have increased their fares again for 2009, by up to 10c per ticket for adults. For me, my bus fare will go from €1.70 to €1.80 – an increase in my travel costs for the year of €50. It’s not all that much in the greater scheme of things, but still, with all the other price rises we’re experiencing these days, it’ll all add up.

So, to avoid this Dublin Bus price rise, at least for a short time, go to Ticketmaster and buy up any remaining tickets that they still have available at the old prices. That I can see, all the tickets currently on sale for Dublin Bus on the Ticketmaster website are still available at the old prices. Get them while you can.

Not sure about Irish Rail prices, but the same thing might be the case for the train tickets that are on sale via Ticketmaster also.

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We need a viable public transport system?

Or do we have one already? At least inside the M50?

Though I was being a bit of a devils advocate, we had an interesting conversation amongst my “real work” colleagues during last week. I ended up defending our Dublin public transport system against the attacks of my colleagues who claimed that it was woefully insufficient (as is the popular opinion these days).

Dublin has a comprehensive set of train connections – north to south, and using the Luas has an east to west rail connection also. It also has a very comprehensive bus network – so much so that the buses clog themselves up in the city centre each morning (though I have referred to that being a major issue in the past).

For most parts of the city, you can access public transport within 10-15 minutes walking distance. That it might not be your preferred mode of transport is actually your issue, not the transport providers.

This, I think, is a major difficulty for most people when it comes to Dublin Bus. For many people, up until recently they were too posh to shop in Lidl or Aldi – and these people are similarly unwilling to take the bus.

As an example, one colleague bemoaned the fact that there wasn’t sufficient parking spaces at his local DART station, despite the fact that there is a bus route outside his front door.

I also think that we in Dublin have unrealistic expectations when it comes to public transport. It’s very rare in any city in the world to have a comprehensive “point to point” public transport network that suits the majority of the cities population. It’s normal to have to take one or two modes of transport, or to have to change between services, to make it to your chosen destination.

There are issues, obviously (such as the bus gridlock on O’Connell street), but I personally don’t think that our Dublin public transport is as bad as many people make out.

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What’s up with Dublin Bus?

Anyone been the victim of a broken down Dublin Bus recently? In the last week or so I’ve noticed at least 4 broken down buses. I can’t say I’ve noticed any since I started using the service in 2006, and now 4 in a week.

Are they saving money by skimping on servicing costs? Are fuel costs gone so high that they’re running out of fuel?

Have you experienced a breakdown recently? That I can remember, there was a 40a, a 19, a 16a and a 49 broken down in different locations in the past couple of days.

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Have a Nice Day – it costs nothing!

We in Dublin take pride in how we always say “thank you” to our Dublin Bus bus drivers. I know that since I’ve moved to the “big smoke”, it’s been something that I’ve been pretty constant on.

Where deserved, obviously! In the majority, our Dublin Bus drivers do a good job. Well, except for the clowns who get into the bus lane on O’Connell street behind the 46a when its just arriving at its stop.

In fairness, the world and their country cousin knows that when the 46a stops on our country’s main street, 200 people get out and 200 get on.

Why then would any driver think that skulking in behind the 46a at its own stop is the fastest way through town?

Anyway, rambling back to the point. My bus driver on the 140 route this morning totally caught me unawares.

On the way off the bus on Kildare Street, and passing my usual thanks, for the first time ever I received a response.

“No worries! You have a great day too!”

Stunning! It was almost like being back living in America. And I have to say, after having a few dodgy days at work previously, all it took was for that comment to send me into work in a little more positive mood!

It costs us nothing to say the nice word, and pass the good comment, yet the potential positive buzz it gives the recipient could be immeasurable!

I had a good day today thanks to my Bus Driver – what does it cost you to share the love?

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