Fianna Fáil Dublin City Councillor, Paul McAuliffe has demanded that the National Transport Authority liaise with private bus operator Go-Ahead to address the issues being experienced by passengers using the 17a service.

Earlier this month, UK firm, Go-Ahead replaced Dublin Bus as the operator of a number of routes in the city including the 17a.

McAuliffe, who is the party’s General Election candidate in Dublin North West commented, “The 17a, which primarily serves villages across the north side of the city, is used by people to commute to work, to access Connolly and Beaumont Hospital and to also attend school and college.

“I have been contacted by a number of constituents who are frustrated with problems on the route since this take-over and they informed me that they’ve logged their complaints with the NTA.

“One such complaint has been that despite this route supposed to be operating every 20 mins, the real time app is advertising buses that are not arriving for close to an hour and are then overcrowded. As a consequence passengers are ending up late for their appointments, arriving late to work or missing class.

“There were reports on Monday of three 17a buses travelling together along the route, which represents an hours’ worth of services arriving in one minute. It then emerged that a driver took the wrong route and had to ask passengers on board for directions.

“On a day when fares went up across the city some of the buses on this route alone were not displaying the route number which left the driver having to stop at every bus stop and announce the route to waiting passengers.

“This mess is not acceptable. The NTA and Go-Ahead had months to prepare for this handover and on route like the 17A, which serves two hospitals and several local colleges and schools, is too important to the people who rely on it for this to become normal,” he concluded.