20 more of Dublin’s new state-of-the-art electric buses will finally – and quietly – hit the capital’s streets in the coming weeks, writes Pieter Snepvangers.
Dozens of zero-emission buses have been parked in depots for months after the National Transport Authority (NTA) ordered 120 back in June 2022 but didn’t have the charging infrastructure to operate them.
But chargers are finally installed at the Dublin Bus Summerhill Depot. In recent weeks, a handful of electrically-powered double-decker buses have been operational on certain routes but the new chargers mean 20 more will commence full service in the coming weeks.
Unveiling the new chargers yesterday – which have the ability to recharge 56 electric buses – Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the buses would “make our air cleaner and our streets quieter, providing quality reliable buses for people”.
Of the 120 buses ordered by the NTA, 100 were for Dublin Bus and 20 for Bus Éireann – part of a larger rollout of 800 zero-emission buses planned over the next five years.
But there are still delays with chargers at the second bus depot in Phibsboro, where work is expected to finish by the end of December.
Tom O’Connor of the National Bus and Rail Union said: “If it is a climate emergency, one would have assumed when they ordered the electric vehicles they would have exempted the bus garages from planning permission to get these vehicles on the road as quickly as possible.
“There didn’t seem to be co-ordinated thinking.”