Well, thats the whole question, isnt it. Do we as a society want to have a public transport system or not and assuming we do, how much do we pay for it?
the problems within BE seem to be centred on the expressway service. you would imagine that these routes would be making the most money, but they seem to be loss making which is odd. However people I know in the private sector say that the reason is because BE swamp certain routes to try and destroy the privateers who get a licence for those routes as well.
As I know the limerick route well, this seems correct. BE turned the Dublin/Limerick route hourly a few years ago. They developed (for a while) a 24 hour service when JJ Kavanagh's did. They've made Portlaoise the first stop and got rid of the rest stop in Borris in Ossory because the privateers did likewise.
Was this to destroy the opposition or to be able to compete with them?
Now we have BE, Kavanaghs's, DublinCoach, CityLink & EireEagle on the same strip of road more or less all serving the same stops.
It makes sense for the NTA to tell some of the private operators to share more stops and allow BE to withdraw services on the route. Alternatively you can order them all to share stops so that each town gets enough departures during the day.
The buses and drivers of BE get moved into other PSO routes (and yes, maybe with a common fleet of smaller vehicles).
Expressway as a brand was only established in the 70's and it never operated an hourly service on any route till the 90's with the Belfast Dublin one, and then this was expanded to Galway, Limerick and Cork just as private operators came along in those corridors.....
We are the passengers