‘Christmas miracles really can happen on Dublin Bus’

Nitelink drivers reveal favourite festive moments, including a very late Christmas tree

Whether it's passengers engaged in festive sing-songs or trying to convince drivers to allow them bring Christmas trees home, seasonal revelry in Dublin officially begins when the Nitelinks emerge on weeknight city streets.

Dublin Bus has announced its festive fleet of after-hours buses will begin delivering Christmas partygoers home from this Thursday, December 15th.

The Nitelink service is now 25-years-old and is a welcome transport option for the thousands of people streaming into the city to enjoy the season’s merriment.

This year, Dublin Bus surveyed its staff to get a glimpse into how the festive spirit is literally mobilised aboard the service.


“Christmas miracles really can happen on the Nitelink,” the company said.

“One driver told of seeing the kindling of a couple’s romance aboard his Nitelink route.

“A year later, he was driving a wedding bus and when he arrived at the venue, he realised it was the same couple’s special day!”

During the season, buses become impromptu depositories for all manner of Christmas paraphernalia.

Every year, seasonal hats, jumpers and wrapping paper are the most common items left behind. In one case, a tinsel-covered crutch was discovered on a bus.

Drivers also reminisced about the bus sing-alongs, with The Pogues classic Fairytale of New York one of the most common song choices for Nitelink passengers, along with Wham’s Last Christmas and Chris Rea’s aptly-named Driving Home For Christmas.

Christmas presents

Passengers bring presents too - drivers have been handed chocolates, sweets and biscuits by customers who were happy to be on their way home.

“One driver recalled a customer who was obviously very late getting organised for the festive season trying to convince him to allow them bring a Christmas tree home on the bus one Christmas Eve,” Dublin Bus said.

“Seasonal cheer and goodwill is one of the drivers’ favourite things about driving on the Nitelink service at Christmas, with most [of those] asked commenting on how customers’ good humour and the ‘banter’ they have with them cheers them up.”

This Friday, December 16th, looks set to be the busiest night for the service, as it is the night with the most Christmas work parties taking place.

Inspectors will be on hand on the street to help get people onto the correct bus.

Nitelink pick-up points are located in the heart of the city centre on Westmoreland Street and D’Olier Street.

A trip from the city centre to suburban areas costs €6.50 or €5.20 with a Leap Card.

The 2016 Christmas Nitelink services are as follows:

Thursday, December 15th, Friday 16th & Saturday 17th

All Nitelink routes will operate as per normal weekend service.

Wednesday, December 21st, Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd

All Nitelink routes will operate as per normal weekend service.

Saturday, December 24th to Thursday 29th

Nitelink services will not operate.

Friday, December 30th and Saturday 31st

All Nitelink routes will operate as per normal weekend service.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times