A city that comes to life after dusk lacking transportation services at night will only lead to the detriment of a city. There are no major changes being initiated to combat the nightly journeys across Galway city while the Christmas Market is starting earlier and lasting longer with each following year. So why can’t buses do the same?
Returning home from a night out would be exponentially easier and more cost effective for everyone if buses ran past midnight. The majority of journeys back home are made by taxi or the long trudge back home in the dark. The plan for trams in Galway has been cancelled and there are no transportation services available after midnight in Galway that isn’t the taxi; so how are students supposed to navigate the city after the lights are out?
On top of that, a large number of students work night or weekend jobs, where buses don’t operate late at night and they are relegated to hollering for a taxi. Park and stride, as well as walking, are both ample options, but a third option wouldn’t hurt the city. This isn’t about students enjoying their nights by drinking away, but to the people of Galway as whole, who live their lives at night as opposed to the day.
As the world tries to reduce carbon emissions, the overreliance of taxis post-midnight isn’t reducing the carbon emissions by any means. Taxis are reliable and everywhere, but those benefits are also why the rest of Ireland needs more nightly services. By reducing the reliance of taxis, carbon emissions would also reduce significantly.
Meanwhile, walking can only build your muscles up so much before frustration and exhaustion kicks in. Finding ways to ease citizen transportations at night would assist in growing Ireland, especially Galway, into a more pleasant city to reside in.
Dublin being the first to try out new ideas before the rest of Ireland gets to is unsurprising, but similarly to contactless payment that is being tested out in Dublin in May of this year, the rest of Ireland needs to acquire this commonplace technology that is existent in the majority of Europe. It is even more important that a city like Galway, which thrives off of students and their wacky nights, that buses run much later than they currently do.
The contactless payment option that has begun in Dublin is something that is taken for granted in every other major city in Europe, so why is Ireland struggling to keep up? Compared to Dublin, it would be easier to begin an initiative of midnight buses in Galway as opposed to Dublin, given its size and the routes that the buses have to take.
There needs to be more focus and less restrictions on upgrading the bus services of the rest of Ireland, not just Dublin. Cities that thrive off of students, like Galway, need these kinds of improvements in services urgently if the city hopes to retain as much of its student population as possible in the future.