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2009 was a very difficult and worrying year for many Irish Bus/Coach owners. There were a number of high profile liquidations in the industry resulting from the slow down across a wide range of operations. Tourism numbers were down, rates for School Transport were cut, Fuel Subsidies were withdrawn in both the School Contract Scheme and on scheduled services and there were less people using services as they lost their jobs.
Competition between operators was fierce and in some cases could only be termed as “predatory” and aimed at putting the weakest out of business. Not, you will agree a good sign of cooperation and a helping hand to your fellow operator in times of difficulty.
What of 2010?
Initially, and certainly for the first 6 months, 2010 will continue to challenge the resources of bus/coach owners. Tourism revenues will not kick in until March/April and cash flows will be the key issue.
School transport contractors are operating on the edge of solvency and any unforeseen cost hit could tip the balance here. Scheduled Services too are coming under severe strain as operators battle on two fronts of higher running costs and fewer passengers.
Not a very good outlook overall and it will demand all of your entrepreneurial skills and business acumen to bring your business through.
iBus is working towards a new approach to the whole transport delivery chain and through this document we hope you find something that offers you hope and inspiration for the next decade.
The ideal candidate will have extensive International exposure in route licensing, planning, development and operation. The new National Bus Terminus will be central to the iBus approach. Prior experience in the management/or development of such facilities will be a distinct advantage.
iBus plc. will challenge, legally if must be, to have the School Contract Scheme put out to tender in its entirety. Experience of tendering and managing large Government/Eu contracts will a major determining factor in the selection of the Chief Executive of iBus plc.
Corporate governance and regulatory compliance will be at the forefront of the ibus business ethos.
The Chief executive will have a proven record in the areas of company law, plc. and corporate governance The ideal candidate will have a Business/Legal diploma/degree to support and lead this.
If you or a family member wishes to apply for the position of Chief executive of iBus plc. you can do so confidentially by writing to:
The Secretary, iBus plc., Parliament House, Embassy Office, Park Kill Village, Co. Kildare.
ibus believes that the handing out of the School Transport Scheme to Bus Eireann without a tendering process, for over 30 years, can be challenged in the courts. A recent value for money review under the auspices of the Department of Education did not address the management charges or the operating costs of the State company, a fundamental exercise in any audit of costs, I think you will agree. iBus has written to the Minister for Education, Mr. Batt. O’Keefe pointing out that major savings, up to €300m, could be achieved under a different business model. It should be clear, particularly given the Exchequers’ present dire circumstance, that savings of up to €300m in any contract undertaken by Government demands at least some interest!.
Scheduled services continue to come under strain suffering a double hit during 2009. Reduced numbers in the workforce meant that less people were travelling and then we had the withdrawal of the fuel subsidies, now resulting in some routes being unviable.
A full review of all passenger routes in Ireland needs to be undertaken urgently if we are to maintain any semblance of a national network of services. Leaving the future make up of the route network in Ireland to Bus Eireann or Dublin Bus, who are both financially strapped, hamstrung by old and creaking management structures and with workforces that are completely inflexable, should not be allowed to dictate.
“Loss making routes of Bus Eireann or Dublin Bus does not necessarily mean loss making routes for professional, flexible and tightly run commercial operations”
The new Transport Regulations Bill will protect the State companies from any competition on any of their routes for the next 5 years…a long time for us to subvent these companies and a lot of our money!
A National Bus Terminus for Ireland will provide a central point for a new national network of services currently being prepared by iBus plc.
The Terminus will form the core strategy for iBus plc. in a number of major and innovative transport solutions. The recent formation of the National
Transport Authority ensures a “level” playing pitch for any proposals lodged that provide practical and sound transport applications to the provision of modern transport services to the Irish public.
iBus plc. looks forward with confidence to working closely with the NTA in bringing a comprehensive and innovative network of services through the new National Bus Terminus.
iBus plc. will position itself as the pre-eminent transport network to exploit opportunities that arise in the European context. Through the forging of links with major international transport operations iBus will develop a series of cross border interchange of services.These services will form a platform for small individual bus/coach businesses to open up a new and important income stream outside of their present limited source here in Ireland. Applications have been lodged for a comprehensive intercity network across Europe.
John Dunne, Promoter, continues to personally guarantee the return of all subscriptions in the event that the target figures set out in the Loan Note Information Prospectus.