Dublin's latest service began on the 8th October 2023 with the introduction of Route 99 operated from Conyngham Road. It is Dublin's shortest service, operating from Parkgate Street to the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre directly via Chesterfield Avenue. Though it might be Dublin's shortest route, it is only actually very slightly shorter than Route 53A (almost equal), a route which hasn't run since Covid curtailments in 2020 but not officially cancelled and still having a timetable on the Dublin Bus site. Interestingly, the service is technically a circular service and hence the bus just displays Visitor Centre in both directions. It is not timed for layover in Parkgate Street though it may wait for time if needs be.
19 departures are run in each direction. It would seem however that the direction of travel of the first and last departures could be better timed, or more importantly re-oriented. Given nobody lives in the park one would think the direction of travel for the first departure should really be into the park, while the last departure should be from the park. However, the opposite was implemented, but one would think this could easily be fixed given the bus runs light pretty much along its full route in any case. The introduction of the route has necessitated the installation of temporary stop infrastructure as shown in the photo below. The cycle lane installed along Chesterfield Avenue continues through the stops, with ramps on either side for cyclists to continue through without needing to go onto the road proper. Oddly the same is not true for the Sightseeing Tour stops.
All in all, this small service is a big win for public transport in the city. For too long the park has been void of public transport options, except for a short period at the end of the 2000s when the OPW had their own park shuttle. But this is the first time a regular bus has run into the park with proper bus stops etc. There may have been short periods across various decades when special services ran into the park, but running a regular public service bus into the park, often muted such as the original CitySwift Route 39 concept to Blanchardstown but never approved, is something which should be commended. Hopefully this is just a small start to significant public transport options in Europe's largest city park.