Notice on bus services between Dublin and Galway

28 July 2021

The Bus Éireann Route 20/X20 between Galway and Dublin is to be discontinued as and from Thursday July 29th. This follows on from the announcement made by the company on 28th September 2020 on its plans to rationalise some of its non-subsidised commercial services.

However the NTA has granted a licence for Route 706/ 706X, a new commercial service operated by Aircoach, which will commence on July 29th, maintaining connectivity between Galway, Dublin and Dublin Airport, along with intermediate communities. There will be 10 departures each way, seven days a week.

Bus Éireann’s 20/X20 is a commercial service operated by the company under licence, and is not subsidised by the National Transport Authority. In these cases, NTA has no powers to refuse an application from an operator to reduce or withdraw services on a commercial route.

The NTA is however, responsible for securing the provision of subsidised public passenger transport services nationally. These services are delivered through public service obligation (PSO) contracts between the NTA and various public transport operators.

In circumstances like this, where a commercial operator ceases or curtails services, the NTA examines whether a PSO exists to provide socially necessary but commercially unviable public transport services, in their place. Such examination includes an assessment of the demand for public transport services and options to either re-configure existing PSO services including Local Link services, or to competitively tender for the provision of services.

From July 29th, the Galway to Dublin intercity corridor will be served by the following main public transport services:

  • Irish Rail Galway-Athlone-Dublin Heuston via intermediate stations
  • Aircoach Route 706/ 706X: Galway, Ballinasloe, Athlone, Maynooth, Dublin and Dublin Airport
  • GoBus Route 720: Galway-Dublin-Dublin Airport – Direct Express Service
  • Citylink Routes 660/760/761: Galway-Dublin-Dublin Airport – Direct Express Service
  • Citylink Route 763: Galway-Ballinasloe-Athlone-Dublin-Dublin Airport – Multi-stop service via intermediate locations
  • Healybus Route 920: Galway-Loughrea

In this context, and having examined the Galway to Dublin corridor in detail, the NTA has determined that the removal of the Routes 20/X20 service will have very limited impact and no interventions are proposed at this time.

For details of all services and journey information use our Journey Planner app or go to: