Dublin Bus’s Twitter feed is for the birds

Journey of frustration on @dublinbusnews omnibus

90 new double-deckers are to be added to the Dublin Bus fleet. The buses have dedicated spaces for buggies, separate wheelchair spaces, a CCTV monitor that allows passengers to see available space on the upper deck and signs announcing the next stop.

 

If you want a frequently hilarious insight into what makes Dublin commuters tick, check out the peak-time Twitter feed of Dublin Bus, @dublinbusnews. It’s a prime example of the pitfalls and the benefits for companies that engage on social media.

As a regular victim myself of the infuriating idiosyncracies of the 83 from Kimmage – the route that time forgot – I’ve often had cause to tweet the account to ask them wtf is going on with my bus to work.

This week, following yet another 83 no-show – “the bus did not operate for operational reasons” apparently – I sifted through the barrage of tweets and replies from exasperated Dublin Bus staff. It was a brilliant slice of Dublin life.

On Tuesday, a woman on the 14 from Beaumont tweeted a picture of a used condom that was her travelling companion to work. “We will report that to maintenance,” came the reply, before a confirmation that the bus was taken out of service.

Dublin Bus in tweets

Another man complained he was waiting 40 minutes at a stop for a bus that is supposed to come every 10 minutes. When two showed up simultaneously, he ticked off the driver. “He gave out to me and told me it isn’t a helicopter,” harrumphed the commuter.

Darrin, who was bringing his three-year-old to town on the number 16, complained about the apparent reluctance of the driver to deal with a noise disturbance on the bus that was upsetting his child: “You can’t beat the 10.30am junkie disco,” he tweeted.

There were also frequent complaints from passengers about Dublin Bus’s notorious real-time information boards, which will often tell you a bus is five minutes away, only for it to be 10 minutes away five minutes later.

“Is the bus reversing its way back to the terminus?” tweeted one comedian.

To give Dublin Bus some credit, it politely engages with each and every tweet, no matter the level of anger or pettiness displayed. If only its bus services were half as reliable.

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