Photo of the Week - Week 37:
Donnybrook's AV347 is seen exiting DCU onto Collins Avenue Extension on the first day of Route 44's extension there, the 15th September 2014.
A new college year, and two ammendments to the network to correspond. With Network Noel making his presence felt in college campuses all over the city, Dublin Bus ammended Routes 44 and 142 to create extra services for the student commuter. The first change affected Route 44, which has been extended from Larkhill to DCU on Monday-Fridays. Services continue to terminate at Larkhill on weekends and all DCU services loop into Larkhill in both directions.
The original plan was to loop the bus via Shanard and Ballymun Road, however a terminus within DCU was found. The new stop, 7571, is located at the side of the Helix, a former set down only area for cars. The bus departs this stop for Enniskerry, heading west, looping at a roundabout and then exiting DCU at the main entrace from Collins Avenue. Buses depart DCU at their former Larkhill departure times, which pushes the bus about 10mins down from its previous time. This means that the 30min headway from Larkhill in the morning is no longer maintained. This could be easily rectified by removing the 44 from Larkhill in the morning peak inbound given the 16 maintains an hourly service in any case. The departure I took had a large number of students, possibly 20 or so. Such loadings would start to question the delay of the service to loop into Larkhill for 1 or 2 passengers as it does cause a significant delay. Unfortunately, the scrolls were not updated to show DCU for the first day of service, buses still showing Larkhill.
AV347 is seen loading passengers at the DCU terminus of Route 44 on the 15th September 2014. The dark grey building to the right in the photo is The Helix.
Donnybrook's AX647 is seen at the Richmond Street South terminus of the daytime Route 142 services which began operation on the 15th September 2014.
The second change was the introduction of a new daytime timetable on the 142 from Richmond Street South to UCD Belfield. The 142 had previously been a peak hour only service, operated by Harristown from UCD to Portmarnock. These services continue as is, operating by Harristown depot, however the new daytime service (Monday-Friday) is operated by Donnybrook. This service runs every hour from 10am to 4pm, covered by univeral duties. This short 142 terminates on Richmond Street South, looping through Camden Street, Charlotte Way, Harcourt Street, Harcourt Road to turn about. Its introduction must point to the success of the peak hour 142 services between UCD and Rathmines. However, given 3-digit numbers are not in short supply, it is a pity that a seperate number such as Route 141 could not have been chosen for these departures. It was also a pity that the scrolls for this service had also not been updated. Rathmines, via City Centre, which it was using in both directions, is not really a valid display for a service terminating at UCD and Portobello, which does not serve the City Centre. AX647 must not have been updated for quite some time given it did not even have the UCD display which was introduced when the route was extended there exactly a year previously.
Donnybrook's AX647 is seen at the UCD terminus of Route 142 on the 15th September 2014 about to operate the first Donnybrook departure from there, the 11am to Portobello.