NTA RECOMMENDS NO FURTHER TENDERING OF DUBLIN BUS SERVICES
NTA is proposing that Dublin Bus should retain service levels at 2019 levels at least, and that there should be no further tendering processes which would reduce service levels by the company.
The proposal is contained in documents published today for public consultation by the Authority on the award of direct contracts for Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann for services from December 2019 to December 2024.
According to the documents, bus routes and service levels included in the December 2019 contract, will match the current Dublin Bus network at that time.
NTA is now undertaking a statutory public consultation on these proposals which have been prepared in accordance with Section 52 of the Dublin Transport Authority Act and is inviting written submissions or observations before the closing date of 5pm, Tuesday 30th October.
The Authority considers that the general interest would be best served in the coming five years by Dublin Bus retaining the same level of services as they will have in November 2019.
It is not anticipated that the network review currently under way, will be finalised and specified in detail in advance of the date by which the Authority will award the 2019 contract. Early in the lifetime of the new contract, and once the final Bus Connects route network is confirmed, the Authority will seek to work with Dublin Bus to amend or revise these routes and service levels to agree with those in the final Bus Connects network.
This will require the Authority to negotiate a series of contract service variations with Dublin Bus, but NTA is proposing that there should be no reduction or diminution in overall service levels provided by Dublin Bus.
The scale of the changes to bus services anticipated in the BusConnects network review, particularly the introduction of entirely new bus routes in some areas, means that the Authority will need to consider further whether those particular routes will be added to the Direct Award contract with Dublin Bus or be competitively tendered.
Should any tendering take place, Dublin Bus will be free to enter the process as a bidder.
The consultation report for Bus Éireann proposes that a further tranche of their services be put out to tender.
NTA is proposing;
(i) to enter into another direct award contract with Bus Éireann in 2019
(ii) to amend that contract in 2021 to reduce the services within that contract by up to 10%
(iii) provide the removed services through a separate contract following an open tender process.
The routes proposed to be tendered as outlined in the consultation report are largely in the Dublin commuter belt area.
It is proposed to enter into a direct award contract with Bus Éireann for a further five year period from 1st December 2019 up to the end of November 2024, with the exception of some routes serving the Dublin commuter area.
These routes will be included in a December 2019 direct award contract, but with the proviso that the Authority would remove them from the direct award contract and put them out to a competitive tender. Bus Éireann will be free to enter that process as a bidder.
Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the NTA said: “These proposals are carefully balanced to continue to introduce competition into the bus market in a structured manner that safeguards the delivery of services for the customer and maintains the on-going improvement of the public’s bus services.
“Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann now have a greater level of certainty so that they can plan for the next five years, and of course they can also tender for services where appropriate.
“Private bus operators will be able to compete for some routes while the public will always have a good quality and reliable Public Service Obligation service, provided by a combination of incumbent operators and operators that are new to the market.
“We believe that competition improves services which can only be good for the customer.”
Written submissions or observations can be sent to:
Bus Contracts Consultation
National Transport Authority
Closing date 5pm, Tuesday 30th October.