Dublin City Councillor, Cllr Colm O’Rourke, is calling for the decision to cancel Dublin Bus Nitelink services, which service parts of Meath, until further notice to be reversed. The decision by the National Transport Authority and Dublin Bus to no longer operate the service until further notice was taken in response to the latest public health measures to shut restaurants, bars and cafés by 8 pm. The Nitelink service provides late night buses on weekend nights across the Greater Dublin area. However, Cllr O’Rourke has stated that the service accommodates those who work night shifts and other users who require a late-night service, and it must be kept.
O’Rourke said: “The decision to cancel all Nitelink services until further notice is the wrong route to take. The Nitelink isn’t just about clubbers and drinkers. It accommodates those working late night or early morning shifts, frontline workers, students working weekends who can’t afford taxis home and anyone else who is out and about and requires a bus. There aren’t enough regular Dublin Bus services that are 24-hours to get the public home.
“So many people in the Greater Dublin Area rely on this vital service. Dublin Bus aims to provide a service for the community rather than being solely about profit, so I think this decision should be reversed.
“Many people are working unsociable hours that rely on this service. Hotels are still open, and many students in particular often work in this sector, especially at weekends and for them or low-income workers, the Nitelink service may be the only cost-friendly option to get home safely, and we should be showing solidarity with workers, especially during these testing times. I fear that it could also put those workers at risk who rely on this cost-friendly service to get home safely at weekends, which means more people walk alone through the streets at unsociable hours. In recent times, we are only too aware of some of the anti-social behaviour problems on the streets of Dublin, and I wouldn’t want to see anyone left in a vulnerable position.
I don’t think as a society that we should be comfortable with this mentality to cancel public transport options during this climate crisis we are experiencing. We must also be doing everything to reduce carbon emissions and not encourage the public to use private vehicles. We must be looking to increase the frequency of public transport, not reduce it.”