The citizens of Limerick City are delighted with the news that a 24-hour bus route will soon be rolled out in the city. The news was announced by the National Transport Authority on February 22. This much awaited news is a huge source of relief to many, especially to the student population of the city which currently stands at just under 30,000.
This new route is estimated to be rolled out in 2025, benefitting the approximate 61 per cent of Limerick’s population estimated to live within 400 metres of a bus stop by that time.
A huge benefit of this new plan is that it will link University Hospital Limerick and the University of Limerick, passing through the city centre. More benefits included in the draft are: more efficient services – every 15 minutes or better to routes such as Dooradoyle, Groody Road and the University of Limerick’s North Campus.
The introduction of such a bus route will make commuting a lot easier for students throughout the city – it lessens the worries about being late for lectures or leaving hours ahead to avoid being late for class.
Another aspect mentioned in this new plan is an extended Sunday service. The re-design of the bus network mentions extending Sunday services from 9am to 8pm, which relieves a lot of pressure for those commuting or non-driving Limerick citizens.
The extended Sunday service will also benefit a lot student who travel to work on Sundays, which they may have struggled with before. This service will also help students who are travelling back to university on Sundays from other parts of the country, as the fears of not being able to get a bus from the city to the university will be eased.
The benefits of this new 24-hour service seem never ending for the city, as students have revealed it will hugely help with the financial pressures of having to get taxis home from a night out. As it is well known, taxi fares can be quite pricey, putting unnecessary pressures on students who are already paying for many other college related expenses. A 24-hour bus will give students the chance to use their leap card and get home for a much cheaper price. It will also reduce the pressure on trying to find a taxi after a night out – something which has become notably more difficult since nightlife resumed after the pandemic.
To further enquire about the benefits of this 24-hour service, I asked University of Limerick student Clodagh how she finds the current transport system in Limerick, and if she thinks a 24 hour bus service will be beneficial to the evergrowing student population of Limerick.
“Although the bus service is mostly reliable there have been moments where a bus doesn’t come and you’re left stranded at the bus station with no alternative but to walk to college, or wait sometimes half an hour for the next bus,” Clodagh divulged. Clodagh also mentions that the 24-hour bus service would make nights out a lot cheaper for her and other students, hailing back to the cost of taxis. She says: “life as a student isn’t always easy and that a more efficient bus service could really improve the college experience for many students.”
Clodagh described her regular use of public transport as a “lifesaver”. This wording demonstrates to us that students really do rely on the transport system, and many students like Clodagh would benefit immensely from this purposed 24-hour bus route.
It’s clear that Limerick is in need of a more updated and efficient bus service to fit the needs of its citizens, and this 24-hour bus route is the first step in achieving that goal. The redesign of the bus service will be settled in the coming months, and eventually hopefully will be rolled out in 2025.
As for the current facilities in place for commuter students – the University of Limerick offers a commuters hub in the morning for students. This facility allows students who are commuting to grab a quick breakfast and coffee to keep themselves going for the day.