Tourists feel ‘ripped off’ as strike takes hold
Locals make alternative arrangements for transport but visitors caught out by action
Buses parked in Conyngham Road Garage in Dublin City. Pickets have been placed on all Dublin Bus garages in the city. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times
Today’s strike by Dublin Bus is estimated to have affected some 200,000 people.
Natives of the capital had already taken to Twitter the night before to complain about cancellation of the Nitelink service. However, it wasn’t only the locals who were put out.
“I feel ripped off,” says Heather Franciotti outside a stop for Dublin Bus’s “hop on hop off” tour.
Ms Franciotti, a tourist from New York, bought a €16 two-day ticket for the tour yesterday, but wasn’t told the service may not run today.
“I was actually looking forward to getting back on the bus today and doing another tour,” she said. “Now I realise that I have to pay again.”
It was a similar story for Jseper Svarre Nielsen and Ane Bjerg Thomsen from Denmark, who also bought a two-day ticket.
“We only used it yesterday so we have one day left (and)we can’t use it,” said Ane. while leaving the Discover Ireland tourist centre on Suffolk Street.
Other visitors were also disappointed that the city’s buses weren’t running. “We would have used the 145 because it’s right outside our hotel,” said the Somers, a couple from Belgium.
“It would have been really helpful,” said Erin Purcell from Maryland while joking that her friend had “sore feet” from walking.
“We were travelling in Berlin earlier and we used all the public transportation there that we could,” she said.
However, Debbie Cipolla from California said the bus strike didn’t affect her but noted that the Luas seemed a little “more crowded”.
A short walk away taxi drivers were congregating outside the Bank of Ireland on College Green. The rationale that less buses would lead to a bump in business wasn’t adding up; it seemed that too many had the same idea.
“It’s brutal, bring back the buses,” joked one while another said he picked up one fare in about five and a half hours. “It’s a worse Sunday for us,” he said. “(There are) a lot more taxis out on account of the strike.”
It also appeared that, in anticipation of bus services being halted, many locals had made alternative arrangements or plans. But there was some who were caught out.
“It’s pretty awkward because I live right beside the bus stop so I had to walk about 20 minutes to get the train,” said Thomas Purdy from Sutton.