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Bus Átha Cliath/Dublin Bus

On the 20th January Bus Átha Cliath or Dublin Bus as it is commonly known was formed and commenced trading on 1st February 1987. By 1988 75% of Dublin's bus services were OPO and by 1990 staff numbers were reduced by 25% as a result. Also as part of OPO pre-paid tickets were sold through retailers and ticket cancelling machines were fitted to buses. In 1988 Dublin Bus Bought 15 MCW/Optare Metroriders. They were classified MB Class. They were Dublin Bus' first new buses.

In 1990 Dublin Bus introduced brand new Leyland Olympian ON2R50C13Z4 double-deckers and were bodied by Alexander of Belfast. RH 1-59 were introduced in 1990, RH 60-125 in 1991, RH 126-153 in 1992 and RH 154-175 in 1993. RH 175 is believed to be the last new Leyland double-decker in the British Isles.

Financial results for the early years were poor but by 1991 revenues were up 12% on the previous year. Passenger numbers also began to increase again.

In 1991 Dublin Bus began to examine the way bus services were run and whether double-deckers were the best way of providing urban services. Dublin Bus changed low frequency double-decker services to high frequency minibus services. This new service was brought under the brand name 'City Imp'. Although minibus drivers were payed 20% lower than regular drivers. The 'City Imp' service was first introduced on the route 83 and passenger numbers trebled on the route after its introduction. Also in 1991 Dublin Bus introduced the 'Nitelink' service which operated to suburban areas in Dublin after normal bus services had stopped.

Dublin Bus began an experiment with the Quality Bus Corridor (QBC). Basically it is a lane on a road dedicated to buses. The main featues were:

In 1993 the first QBC was introduced on the route 39 to Blanchardstown, and was inaugurated using blue and grey liveried single-deckers under the brand name 'Cityswift'. As a result of the introduction of the single-deckers on the route 39, drivers from Phibsboro garage went on strike for 2 weeks.To this date many more have been introduced such as ones to Malahide, Stillorgan, Finglas, Lucan, North Clondalkin, Rathfarnham/Whitehall & Tallaght and more are in the pipeline.

For the introduction of the Cityswift service Dublin Bus took delivery of 40 DAF SB 220 single-deckers and were bodied by Plaxton with their Verde bodywork and were named the P class. Dublin Bus also took delivery of 20 Mercedes-Benz 709D minibuses and were bodied by Alexander of Belfast and were named the MA class.

In 1994 Dublin Bus took delivery of 150 Volvo Olympian YN2RC16Z4 double-deckers and were bodied by Alexander of Belfast and were named the RA class. The numbers followed on from the RH class. RA 176-195 were deliveried in 1994, RA 196-255 in 1995 and RA 256-325. Also in 1994 Dublin Bus took delivery of 70 DAF SB 220 single-deckers and were bodied by Alexander of Belfast with their Setanta bodywork and named the AD class.

Between 1994 and 1996 Dublin Bus began to withdraw the Atlanteans of the 60s and 70s from service. Although about 10 have been converted to open-top for sightseeing tours in Dublin. Also between 1994 and 1995 Dublin Bus also took delivery of 35 Mercedes-Benz 709D minibuses bodied by Euromotive and were named the ME class. Also between 1995 and 1996 Dublin Bus took delivery of 24 Mercedes-Benz 811D minibuses bodied by Euromotive and also part of the ME class. Also in 1994 Dublin Bus took delivery of 15 Mercedes-Benz 709D minibuses bodied by Leicester Carriage Builders and named the ML class. In 1995 Dublin Bus took delivery of 15 Mercedes-Benz 811D minibuses bodied by Leicester Carriage Builders and also part of the ML class. Many of the Mercedes-Benz minibuses were used on both City Imp and Localink services.

In 1994 Dublin Bus introduced a new service from Heuston rail station to Busáras (Central Bus Station) and onwards to Dublin Airport under the brand name 'Airlink'. Some of the DAF SB220s with Alexander bodywork operated it and these had extra luggage capacity. In 1999 Dublin Bus put some extra luggage capacity Volvo Olympians on the service aswell and these have now been put back on ordinary routes. 15 of the new Volvo B7TLs with Alexander ALX400 dual-door bodywork have been allocated to the service, these have extra luggage capacity.

In 1996 Dublin Bus took delivery of 10 Volvo B10B-58 single-deckers and were bodied by Alexander of Belfast and were named the VA class.

Between 1997 and 1998 Dublin Bus took delivery of 24 Mercedes-Benz 0814 minibuses bodied by Euromotive and named the MV class. Also Between 1997 and 1999 Dublin Bus took delivery of 315 Volvo Olympian OLY-4953 double-deckers bodied by Alexander of Belfast and named the RV class. RV 326-385 were delivered in 1997, RV 386-445 and RV 446-640 in 1999.These are also the last Olympians being delivered to Dublin Bus, also the number of Olympians that Dublin Bus operates is 640. Also Between 1997 and 1998 6 Volvo B10L low-floor single-deckers were introduced and were the first low-floor buses in service with Dublin Bus an were named the VL class. VL6 is powered by compressed natural gas, the only such example in service with Dublin Bus.

During 1999 Dublin Bus had 6 low-floor double-deckers on a six month trial - 2 DAF DH250s, 2 Volvo B7TLs and 2 Dennis Trident II/ Alexander ALX400s. They were such a success that Dublin Bus ordered 170 Volvo B7TLs with Alexander ALX400 single-door bodywork and 15 Volvo B7TLs with Alexander ALX400 dual-door bodywork for use on the Airlink service.

Also in 1999 Dublin Bus introduced 20 Volvo B6BLE midibuses with Wrights of Ballymena bodywork were introduced the WV class. 10 are in City Imp livery and are in use on route 150 from Poolbeg Street to Rossmore and the balance are in normal fleet livery for use on the 103 and new 104 routes from Clontarf DART station to Finglas (rt 104) and Omni Park Shopping Centre in Santry (rt 103). A trial of a Volvo B7LA articulated single-decker has taken place in summer 2000 and Dublin Bus ordered 20 of these for use on route 90 from Heuston station and Connolly Station.

Delivery of the Volvo B7TL low-floor double-deckers with Alexander ALX400 bodywork commenced in August 2000 the AV Class. They were offically launched in early October 2000 and nearly all are in service. Dublin Bus withdrew the Bombardier double-deckers and GAC single-deckers of the 1980s in December 2000. This closed another chapter in Irish bus-building history.

Delivery of another 20 Volvo B6BLE midibuses with Wrights of Ballymena bodywork happened in December 2000, many are in use on route 123 from Drimnagh to Marino. 20 Volvo B7LA articulated sinlge-seckers were delivered in December 2000 and are now in service on routes 27C, 65C, 90, 127, 129. These are the AW Class.

Dublin Bus has ordered 44 more Volvo B7TL ALX 400 bodied low-floor double-deckers to be delivered shortly and recently 12 more Volvo B6BLE midibuses with Wright Crusader bodies were delivered.

In June 2001 Dublin Bus withdrew DF607 from sightseeing duties and this has signalled the end of the VanHool McArdle Atlanteans. All are expected to be gone by the end of this year.

On 14 July 2001 Dublin Bus withdrew route 8 to Dalkey to the dismay of many people. The history of the 8 is interesting. It was the first electric tram route in Dublin in 1896, It was the last Dublin tram route to operate in July 1949, it was the first route to operate RA class Titans in 1961, it was the last route to operate the RA class Titans from Donnybrook in 1981, it was the first route to operate the Bombardier KDs in 1981 and the last route to operate the Bombardier KDs on 13 January 2001. On its last service it was operated by Volvo Olympian RV524 from Eden Quay at 23:30.

In early September 2001 RA309 was destroyed by fire outside the Liffey Valley SC. This brings the number of RA class Olympians desrtoyed by fire in a year to 2. RA234 was destroyed in 2000.

This page will be updated as Dublin Bus' history grows.

Last updated: 18 September 2001

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