PLANS to reintroduce the night bus service in the second semester are currently being discussed by the Students’ Union (SU). It is hoped that the service will operate a trial run during the Christmas exam period.
SU President, Aodhán Ó Deá stated that he hoped the night bus service could be secured for under €200 per bus run with the bus company which have been used by the SU on numerous occcasions. “Hopefully we could get it for less than €200 per night. It’s the same company we use for everything else, Marathon Travel.” However, as of yet, the logistics of such a service have not been finalised or confirmed by the university.
The night bus is being planned by SU Entertainments (Ents) Officer, Gary Redmond, who explained, “we’re hoping to run [the bus] on a trial basis at the final week of exams and then hopefully we can start it up next semester. After Christmas, the plan is to introduce a bus service on Wednesday and Thursday nights, for somewhere like D’Olier st and Harcourt st and which will come back to campus.”
Mr Redmond stated that he has not yet approached the university about financing the project, explaining that “we’re still in advanced planning. I will approach the university [in January].” Mr Redmond explained that if the university did not back the plan for the bus that the SU could cover the cost of running the bus, possibly using Ents’ profits. Alternatively, a small fee will be charged to students for using the service.
The plans for a SU night bus reach their final stages in the midst of a withdrawal of Dublin Bus’ night service from Belfield due to anti-social behaviour of students. The company cancelled its night service after an incident whereby a bus conductor was punched on 3rd October.
However, Mr Ó Deá stated that there hasn’t been any reports to suggest that a UCD student was involved and expressed his disappointment that Dublin Bus “seem to be painting all students with the same brush”.
In response to the withdrawal of services, Mr Ó Deá revealed that he hopes to highlight the issues of excessive alcohol consumption through a new bus-stop postering campaign which would inform students of the effects of excessive alcohol consumption and the rules regarding drinking on campus.
A spokesperson for Dublin Bus explained the service was reduced following these incidents for “safety reasons”. She also said that the attacker in question was arrested and that they also had CCTV footage of the event. However, she did not confirm if the attacker was a UCD student.
The spokesperson highlighted that meetings have been on going “since the beginning of the college year with UCD, our own trade unions and Gardaí… to try and resume the services as soon as possible”. Dublin Bus acknowledged that UCD has increased its security services on campus and assured that all parties are working to re-instate the service as quickly as possible.