The state run services now have excellent and informative websites covering route planning, pricing, ticketing options and information for foreign visitors. The following is an introduction to each service with a link to the website for further information
Dublin's public bus service provides an extensive network of bus routes. Buses run at different times depending on the route, usually from around 6:00am until close to midnight. (A NiteLink service also operates at weekends throughout the early hours - see the Dublin Bus website.) Most bus stops have timetables attached but be warned - these are timetables indicating departure time from the terminus, not time at the stop! Because of traffic congestion and an apparent inability of the powers that be to properly streamline public transport, timetables should only be used as an indicator of the frequency of service. Dublin Bus operates an exact change system (Autofare) whereby coins (no notes) are entered into a slot/chute on entry to the bus and a ticket is issued. A receipt for excess payment will also be issued as part of the ticket if applicable, but no change is given. Receipts for excess payment may be redeemed at the Dublin Bus office at at 59 Upper O'Connell St. Day, week, month and multi-journey pre-paid tickets (available from many newsagents as well as from the Dublin Bus office) are passed into an electronic ticket reader to the right of the entry door on boarding the bus for registration.
There is a growing number of quality bus corridors (QBCs), dedicated bus lanes for public transport, radiating from the city centre to the suburbs which enable Dublin Bus to operate at optimum speed. Cars are banned form these lanes - but bizarrely only at certain times of the day (!) so their effectiveness is limited by the motorist lobby which merrily clog the lanes at the second the regulations allow.
Full timetables and route planning, as well as indicative pricing, are available online on the Dublin Bus website. Used in conjunction with our maps, it should be possible to easily plan your journey.
An official bus card is available from Dublin Bus at 59 Upper O'Connell St, in the city centre for a nominal cost which allows you to buy various Weekly-Monthly bus passes which can be used as often as required in the specified time. If you have an ISIC (international student) card with an Irish travel stamp you can purchase a Student Weekly bus ticket. There are also various other travel tickets which can be bought without a bus card. Travel tickets are available from selected newsagents throughout the city as well as at the Dublin Bus office at 59 Upper O'Connell St.
(Dublin Area Rapid Transit)
There are also numerous suburban and satellite sites (eg towns in the surrounding counties of Kildare, Louth, Wicklow) linked to Dublin by frequent commuter services operated by a combination of diesel-powered and railcar (Arrow) trains. Examples are
Full timetables for DART and suburban rail, as well as station information and journey planners, are available on the comprehensive DART website.
Luas - the Irish language word for swiftness or speed - is an exciting new development currently under construction in Dublin city. Planned to complement the coastal line of the DART, Luas is an on-street light rail or tram system which serves the inland centres and connects to the main train stations at Connolly and Heuston in the city center. A massive engineering project, Luas has been bogged down for a number of years in re-discussion, re-planning and procrastination but is now finally coming off the paper plans and becoming a concrete reality in many areas around Dublin as construction proceeds. Visit the Luas site for information on the planned lines in the first phase and for ongoing news on the development of the system
Bus Éireann (literally Bus of Ireland, or 'Éire', from the Irish language) is the state company charged with operating the bus network outside of Dublin City. The service offers a reasonably priced option to those wishing to travel around Ireland. They also provide connections to Britain and Mainland Europe and a private coach hire service, details of which are available on the Bus Éireann website. There are special rates offered to students holding an ISIC card with a travel stamp. Tickets are bought and buses depart/arrive at BusÁras (map p46s48), the main bus depot, in the city centre. For many of the more sparsely populated areas of Ireland, Bus Éireann or a private coach service may be your only option as the rail network is limited to routes between primary population centres.
Iarnród Éireann (literally Iron Road of Ireland, or 'Éire', from the Irish Language) operates the InterCity rail service throughout Ireland and into Northern Ireland. The main train stations in Dublin are Connolly Station (serving the north and northwest of the country) and Heuston Station (serving the south and the west of the country). RailLink Bus 90 connects Connolly and Heuston as will the proposed Luas line. Details of all routes and pricing are available on the Iarnród Éireann site - the primary InterCity trains are as follows
Other Intercity routes around the country are
A suburban service also operates between Cork and Cobh.
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