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Unread 02-11-2012, 11:32   #15
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Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
Total sum of coach capacity is still a small fraction of capacity Irish Rail have available
That is very misleading, Irish Rails capacity is 7,395 per day [1]

Gobus and Aircoach regular scheduled capacity is 1,600 per day [2]

That is 20%, hardly a fraction. However that is only half the story.

Firstly nothing stopping Gobus/Aircoach putting on extra coaches when demand calls for it, just like Aircoach did last Monday evening ex-Cork when they were swapped with the bank holiday crowds. The were running full coaches and were bringing in hire-ins from Mallow coaches, etc.

Also nothing stopping GoBus/Aircoach increasing their schedule, number of coaches (e.g. two per hour, etc.) and put on double deckers, as word of mouth spreads and their numbers increase, just like GoBus/Citylink do on their very successful Galway route.

Second, as you know well, Irish Rail rarely comes close to filling their trains. The coach companies don't need the same capacity as Irish Rail. Even with only a fifth of the capacity of rail, if they fill the coaches with rail passengers, it could easily equate to a 50% drop in rail passenger numbers on the route.

Originally Posted by Mark Gleeson View Post
IE's market share is of the order of 40% Dublin Cork vs all other modes
That figure as you know is from before GoBus/Aircoach started their new services, when the only coach competition was Bus Eireann and it took 4 hours 30 minutes!!

A better comparison is the Galway route where GoBus/Citylink have been operating direct non stop services for a number of years. There the market split is 25/25 coach/train, versus the 10/40 last year on the Cork route.

If Irish Rail was to lose 15% of the Cork market it would be devastating for them. Given that Cork is their busiest intercity route, a 15% reduction would equate to about a 25% drop in total intercity numbers.

If I was Irish Rail, I would be very worried about these new competing services. They are likely to have a significant impact on passenger numbers and what you can charge for tickets.

The major competitor for the railway is not the bus, it is the private car - the motorist needs an excuse to leave his car behind - i.e. less stress, greater comfort, availability of catering, faster journey times, avoidance of rising fuel costs, avoiding city centre parking charges.
Interesting point, I think these new coach services are going to do more to attract people out of their cars then rail.

Think about it, it costs about 60 return by car in fuel and tolls. A 80 train ticket certainly isn't going to attract you out of your car. Even a 47 advance ticket is a marginal saving.

However a 18 (yes return!!) coach ticket might just well do the job.

[1] Actually the capacity is a little less, this number is based on all Mark 4's, but as we know, a few 22k are used too.

[2] The coach capacity range between 48 and 53, with most around 53, but I split the difference and said 50. This figure doesn't include the existing Bus Eireann service.

BTW the number are only in one direction, double it for return.
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