A survey carried out by my office has revealed that the vast majority of people are unaware of Dublin Bus’ City Centre Fare, which Senator Noone described as a missed opportunity for the company and the city. I encourage Dublin Bus to consider new ways of informing people about the money saving fare.
The City Centre fare is a great idea that makes excellent commercial sense. It provides good value to passengers travelling around the city centre, and acts as a great incentive to encourage people to hop on the bus when out and about in town. However, I was somewhat disappointed to discover that there is a very low level of awareness about the fare, which I believe is bad for customers and bad for the company.
Research undertaken by my office, which consisted of a survey on Henry Street and Grafton Street, shows that 88% of punters in Dublin don’t know about the fare, or how much it is. A further 15% thought it was €1, when in fact the city centre fare is 65 cents in cash, or 55 cents if you have a Leap Card. If Dublin Bus wants to make this worthwhile initiative a success, it needs to make sure its customers are informed.
The company has a variety of mediums at their disposal; from social media to the traditional posters on their vehicles. There’s plenty of room to advertise the city centre fare on the widely used Dublin Bus app or on bus and on bus shelters around the city. This wouldn’t cost a huge amount of money, and I fully believe that if more people knew about the fare, they would use it.
I would encourage Dublin Bus to consider ways to increase awareness about the fare as a matter of urgency, particularly as we enter the height of the Christmas season when more people than ever will be in the city centre. It should also look at ways to make sure tourists know about the fare, which makes it easier and more affordable to get around the city.
I would also like to see Dublin Bus develop its zone structure, to something more akin to that used in London. Often people don’t understand how much they should pay, and how fares are structured. Increasing transparency and awareness will ultimately make taking the bus a much more attractive option, which is of benefit to anyone who lives, works or simply visits the city.