Today, Wednesday 2 August, Dublin Bus celebrates 30 years of being at the heart of the Capital and launches its ‘Dublin Legends: Celebrating 30 Years of Dublin Bus Stories’ campaign. Dublin Bus’ workforce of over 3,500 has been committed to getting Dubliners to where they need to be since 1987 and are best positioned to chronicle everyday Dublin life. The campaign features favourite memories and stories of some of its longest serving employees from down through the years which will be featured in outdoor, digital and radio advertising. One of Dublin’s most famous sons, Damien Dempsey, lends his voice to the campaign.
Many of these stories have become legend, including that of trailblazer and bus driver Big Tom, the unofficial Mayor of Ballyfermot, who earned the respect of the whole community by organising day trips for the youths of the inner city, bringing them on the bus to parts of the city they’d never seen. Another legend was about Ethel from Bray who lived beside the Route 45a terminus and was known for bringing the drivers cups of tea and a biscuit. She was also known for her strange choice of pet, a seagull named Maureen.
The big freeze during the winter of 2010 could have seen many stranded but 95% of Dublin Bus services remained running at the time, allowing many Dubliners to get around, including the older people of Sean McDermott Street who were able to get to their annual dinner dance and home again safely. Then there was the time a bunny magically appeared on Route 16 one day in 1989. No one knows where it came from, but the good people of Dublin Bus Lost Property managed to find him a new home
A lot has happened since 1987, during which the company has hit some significant milestones, including:
- Dublin Bus is now Ireland’s largest public transport provider and in 2017 it will carry over 130 million customers.
- Dublin Bus is vital to the continued growth of the city’s economy. 61% of all shopping trips into Dublin city centre are taken on a bus, and its customers account for 39% of all retail spend in Dublin city.
- We all remember the green Bombardier buses back in the 80s and 90s, then the city imps in the 90s and even the bendy buses of the early noughties. Today Dublin Bus’ top of the range fleet of 987 buses is housed in seven depots and travel on 113 routes, including 19 high-frequency cross-city routes.
- In 2000 it committed to purchasing only low floor wheelchair accessible buses and by 2012 the fleet became 100% low-floor accessible.
- Dublin Bus is committed to equality, diversity and inclusiveness with its first Equality Officer appointed in 2001.
- In 2003 the Community Spirit Awards were launched and to date grants have been given to over 1,800 local voluntary and community groups to help nurture and develop community spirit around the Greater Dublin Area.
- In 2007 the Travel Assistance Scheme was launched and has helped over 1000 people with reduced mobility to use the bus.
- In 2011 the free Dublin Bus app was launched so that customers could have Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) at their fingertips and has been downloaded 1.5 million times since.
- In 2014 paternity leave was extended to all employees, whether in a heterosexual or same sex relationship.
- In 2016, for the very first time, an all-women class of new drivers graduated from its dedicated training centre.
For more stories from Dublin Bus employees, visit YouTube. Follow Dublin Bus on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook for all the latest updates.