Photo of the Week - Week 31:
Clontarf's AV63 is seen on the Clontarf Road operating Route 130 on the 21st July 2012. AV63 is on borrowed time, being one of the buses destined to be replaced by the GT class.
The lesser known Route 130 is a route which doesn't get much attention. Operating down Amiens Street through to Fairview, there are few photo oportunities due to the traffic in the area. Then once the roads split (into the Malahide / Howth / Clontarf Roads) it goes out on its own, having a lot of unique sections. Therefore, if one goes out to photograph the 130, you don't get much else, except for the ocassional (every 2 hours) Route 104 passing by. However, on a nice sunny day like Saturday, it really is a nice route to walk.
Clontarf's former wedding bus, AV416, is seen operating Route 130 turning off Blackheath Park onto Vernon Avenue on the 21st July 2012.
Route 130 has been a success story for Dublin Bus over the years. Beginning from the ruins of the dwindling Routes 30 and 44A in 1996, the 130 offered a bright new frequent service for the people of Clontarf. Running every 5mins during the peak, then every 8-mins off peak, the 130's bright livery made it, and its high frequency, very distinctive. Every passenger was instantly aware how many 130's were running and thus knew they could rely on the service. Soon the minibuses were overloaded and I recall that many of my last memories of the KC-class in Clontarf was on Route 130. A sign indicated the route, with the KCs being unable to show the number. Soon WV41-46 would arrive to increase capacity, then increasing numbers of Olympians started to appear. Nowadays passengers have a full double-decker every 10mins for most of the day. However, Network Direct has also made the service unreliable. Insufficient running time, means that the service has started to get a bad reputation. Many years of hard work building up a service can be wiped out in much less time, so here's hoping Route 130 will see some relibability improvements in the near future.
AV37 is seen in Clontarf Village on the main Clontarf Road on the 21st July 2012.