NTA and Bus Éireann launch East Coast Commuter Corridor from 7 May

New 24 hour coach service between Drogheda and Dublin

New bus service linking Wicklow town and Bray

  • Passengers in Louth, Meath Wicklow, Dublin and Fingal to see enhanced services on four key routes, with improved frequency, greater capacity and new accessible vehicles 
  • Route 101 from Drogheda to Busáras via Dublin Airport to become a 24-hour service, while new Route 131 provides first dedicated local bus service between Bray and Wicklow town 
  • Funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA), the routes will be operated by Bus Éireann, which won a competitive tender process
  • Newly enhanced services will launch for customers on Routes 101, 101x, 131 and 133 from Sunday, 7 May

The National Transport Authority (NTA) and Bus Éireann have today announced improved bus services for passengers in Louth, Meath, Wicklow, Dublin and Fingal. Together, these routes will deliver almost three million in service kilometres annually.

Bus Éireann was announced as the operator of the routes following a competitive tender process. In total, these four enhanced routes will operate on 35 new, fully accessible vehicles provided by the NTA. The newly enhanced services will launch for customers from Sunday, 7 May. Full details and timetables are available at buseireann.ie

These include Route 101 from Drogheda to Busáras via Dublin Airport. Route 101 will become a full 24-hour service, with 293 departures each way per week operated on a fleet of new, fully accessible double and single deck coaches.

A new service, Route 131 will provide the first dedicated local bus service between Bray and Wicklow town, with 112 departures each way per week, connecting passengers with DART services at Bray.

Route 133 from Wicklow town to Busáras via Ashford has also been enhanced, with 143 departures each way per week. This service will no longer route via Bray, to achieve greater punctuality and reliability. Passengers will continue to be able to connect through to Dublin Airport by transferring to Route 101 at Busáras. The route has been consolidated so that the former 133B, 133L and 133X routes will cease.

Route 101x from Drogheda to Wilton Terrace in Dublin via Balbriggan will see the frequency of services maintained, with services operated on a greater number of accessible single deck buses and double deck coaches in response to increased passenger demand.

On Route 101, passenger numbers are currently running 37 percent ahead of 2019 and it is projected that this route will carry a record one million passengers this year.

On Route 133, passenger numbers are up 30 percent on 2019 and will deliver over half a million passenger journeys this year, also a record.

Following fare reductions on public transport services last year, public transport has become more affordable than ever. A single, adult Leap Card fare from Drogheda to Dublin is just €5.04 while the same fare from Wicklow town to Dublin is just €6.16. Fares for people aged 19-24 years who have a Young Adult Leap Card will be just €2.52 and €3.08 respectively.

Bus public transport in Ireland is going from strength-to-strength, with Bus Éireann delivering 89.5 million passenger journeys in 2022, a return to pre-Covid levels and with unprecedented growth in demand in recent months.

National Transport Authority (NTA) comment

"With passenger numbers on bus transport growing apace, we are delighted to deliver this new investment in public transport for the East," said Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA. ‘’We know that where new and enhanced services are made available, people respond positively and choose to travel by bus.

The new, enhanced East Coast Commuter Corridor marks a step-change in bus transport in Counties Louth, Wicklow and Dublin – with greater frequency, improved capacity and an entire fleet of new, fully accessible vehicles to service increased passenger demand.

We are happy to announce that Bus Éireann will operate these services, following a competitive tendering process completed last year. Through this significant investment, the NTA reaffirms our commitment to delivering greater connectivity for our communities and to responding to increased demand for public transport – with increased delivery."

Bus Éireann comment

"We are absolutely delighted to have been selected to operate the newly enhanced East Coast Commuter Corridor bus services, having delivered these essential routes to communities for many decades," said Stephen Kent, CEO of Bus Éireann. "As Ireland’s national bus company, Bus Éireann has a proud record of providing public transport services to communities both urban and rural. We are excited to partner with the NTA on these new and enhanced services and are committed to providing frequent, reliable and accessible bus services for our passengers in Counties Louth, Wicklow and Dublin – and across the country.

“This was achieved through a commitment to delivering transformative sustainable public transport services, through investments by the NTA in new services, new vehicles and through the reduction in public transport fares. This new investment will mean a greater number of commuters, tourists, students, airport passengers and Free Travel Pass customers having the option to travel more sustainably by bus. Our mission to achieve a best-in-class customer experience is working, with our customer satisfaction rating above 90% for the last 12 months.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in public transport in Ireland, with developments in BusConnects Cork and Galway and enhanced rural routes through Connecting Ireland, funded by the NTA. We have been actively recruiting for the expansion of our services with 19 new drivers joining Bus Éireann in recent months. We are also pleased that Bus Éireann has been successful in the recent tender process to introduce the first Carlow town bus service, commencing this summer,” Stephen Kent concluded.

Wednesday, 3rd May, 2023