Bus Éireann launches 10-year Sustainability Plan

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*Bus Éireann has announced its first Sustainability Plan. The Plan highlights the company’s commitment over the next ten years. Operating 1100 vehicles, covering 82 million kms yearly, Bus Éireann has a great opportunity to increase public transport use, while helping others to reduce its overall carbon footprint

National passenger transport provider, Bus Éireann has put many of its current sustainability polices into a structured ten year plan. While the current Covid-19 pandemic plan has interrupted the plans of all public transport operators, the company is confident that it will regain its position and continue the growth experienced up to Spring 2020. At the moment there are 1,100 buses in the fleet, with a staff of 2,700 of which 1,920 are drivers. While the predominant gender of drivers is male, this is a balance that is changing rapidly. Gender balance is also proposed in the Board room, in the plan the company plans to have a 50/50 balance by 2030.

Transport by bus is more sustainable per head and when cars are compared to buses, the carbon reduction is 20%. A big challenge to attract people away from the car to the bus, but one Bus Éireann feels it can achieve. In 2019 passenger numbers traveling by bus in Dublin were below 5%. In 2019, passenger numbers were 89 million, and the company’s plan to move 116 million passengers by 2030. School transport is another area that is planned for extra journeys. In 2019, 116,000 passengers were transported each day, this figure is expected to climb to 139,000 by 2030.

Not surprisingly the focus of the plan is on people and the environment. Vehicles and staff training are also a big part of the plan. By 2030, the use of diesel will be reduced by 50%. No further diesel only buses will be purchased, as the change to Hybrid and electric powered vehicles continues. It is planned that Athlone will be the first area to have an electric fleet. The company does not under estimate the size of the challenge that it faces. Since 2009, its emissions have been cut by 7%, the target is to cut this by 50% by 2030. Staff training will be a big part of the plan. Employees will receive more training in the short term, with a greater use of vehicle telematics and a focus on eco-driving.

Bus Éireann sees partnership as the foundation to the success of the sustainability plan. Key components are the involvement of Employees, General Public and Government Agencies. Sean Murtagh sean@fleet.ie

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