THE BUS AT MONALOE CORNER

Yesterday, for the first time since the mid 80’s I took a bus into town (Dublin City). The reason for my journey was to meet up with fellow bloggers Brigid from Sort of Writing, Ann from Inkpot and Quills and Theresa from Substitute Teacher’s Saga. We had coffee, scones and lots of chat and laughter in the Avoca Café on Suffolk Street – where they really should not transport fish in the only lift in the building. But smelly lift aside it was a lovely way to pass a sunny morning in Dublin. However I digress.. this post is about the bus.

Back in the 80’s, when I last took the bus into town, it was a rough and very basic way to travel. 80’s buses never looked that hygienic or clean. They rattled and chugged their way along and I remember regular break downs.

I do remember that back then, back seats were to be avoided at all costs being positioned directly over the engine which always seemed to be straining at the very limit of it’s capability. This resulted in a fume filled rear section where nausea was likely to overtake one after a couple of miles. Travelling on the back seats also was usually and worryingly very hot. I was never on a bus that spontaneously burst into flames but on many journeys that eventuality did seem to be imminent. 80’s buses also usually had dirty windows and, of course, the fug of cigarette smoke upstairs which made locating your destination somewhat difficult.

What a difference a mere 25 years had made! The first big change is that now bus stops have names. In the 80’s your stop was known as Stage 10 or whatever. But now the wise folks at Dublin Bus have christened all the stops and I am very proud to say that my local bus stop is called Monaloe Corner – how poetic is that? I almost expected Tigger and Winnie the Pooh to come bouncing and ambling along at any moment as I waited for my carriage into town.

And I didn’t have long to wait. After about ten minutes at Monaloe Corner and with an elegant ‘whoosh’ sound, my bus glided to a stop. Gone is the big step up (or was it two steps), which made boarding the 80’s bus difficult especially if one had been for a drink or three after work. No, 21st century Dublin Buses are flush with the pavement with lovely wide doors, presumably making them wheelchair accessible.

Gone was the graffiti and grimy interior. My bus was bright and cheerful and decked out in corporate coloured upholstery. There was a dedicated space for standing passengers, a huge improvement of the 80’s arrangement of standing in the door well of the second door half way down the bus where one always felt a bit vulnerable should the driver inadvertently open the wrong door! There is even a luggage hold on Dublin Bus – which in the 80’s was only found on the coach that took you from your aircraft to the terminal building at the Airport.

So – Dublin Bus – this post if for you. Take a bow. Efficient service, clean and comfortable vehicles. I was most impressed. I can’t wait for an excuse to go into town again!
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16 Comments

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  1. Thanks for taking the ride into Dublin. I'm glad it was nicer than it was in the 1980s. Since my visit 11 years ago, all the transportation seemed better too.

    It was great to meet you.

  2. It was one very high step into the bus. And if you weren't so sure on your feet, a rather dangerous and embarrassing descent. Glad you found your bus stop. I found mine at busaras. Great seeing you again.

  3. Ah but you'd miss the filthy, bumpy, nauseating buses of the eighties!! Remember the conductor too? I seem to remember (as a teenager)hoping that the conductor wouldn't get to me to collect the money before my stop! Memories! Lovely post. M x

  4. Good on Dublin Bus and the dart is a wonder too, they even have poetry on it.
    I remember the old buses too and being the'80s there was a smell of hairspray everywhere keeping the 'big hair' in one piece. Thanks for meeting up and I hope 'winnie the pooh' hops on next time.

  5. Oooh, I haven't been on a bus since the eighties either! Memories of me and my crimped and backcombed hair off out to meet friends for a night on the town. I wonder if the buses here have improved too?

  6. I haven't been on a bus for almost 90 minutes now 🙂

    I don't remember Dublin Bus in the 80s (I spent the 80s in Arklow – and I was 5 when they ended so I don't even remember that very well!) but for all I complain about public transport and the cost of it, Dublin Bus do run a great service.

  7. This just all sounds so awesome and Irish and I wish I were there!

  8. Ah! I'm so jealous you all got to meet up! Next time: London!

  9. A meeting of bloggers. How excellent. I too am jealous. The buses in Leicester have improved greatly too although I'm ashamed to say that I really do prefer being able to take the car especially as the bus fares can work out to be even more expensive than car parking.

  10. thanks everyone for stopping at My Kitchen Table for a chat!
    Theresa.. I am glad you can see Dublin how it is now.. shiny and new. And buses to match. hope Paris is/was wonderful!
    Ann- glad u made it up and down safely. I will see you again over summer.. must phone Siobhan!
    Maria – yeah I remember the conductors too.. but couldnt remember when they were phased out. Thought mentioning it might make me seem too old!!!
    Brigid.. being 6 feet tall I didn't really do big hair, but did spot a wonderful perm for most of the early 80s!
    Susannah – well now that the Bus 4 Us has been decommissioned you will have to take off on your local bus service and let us know how it was!
    Hi Ellen.. you making me feel a bit old but glad you agree that the Bus is great!
    Karen – you just better organise yourself a bit of a holiday in Europe and we can arrange another blogger meet up! We can have one in Dublin and get Talli and Rosalind to come over too! A big blogger party!

  11. Lovely post Barbara! I remember 80s busing so well, mainly to school. Conductors definitely were around up til 1987, so it was late 80s/early 90s before they were phased out. Personally the motion of the bus still brings on nausea. Now the Luas! That's my fav. Cycling provides much freedom, door-to-door (usually) parking and the sheer thrill of cheating death yet again despite multitudinous cunning attempts by other road users to 'alter' my course! No I can't say that. Mostly drivers, particularly bus drivers, are careful and courteous in fact, especially once they see you regularly on the same route (no doubt the child chair at the back helps, above all when the child is in it)! It makes the less thoughtful / downright lethal ones really stand out. Thanks for the trip! Hugs, A

  12. The blogging lunch lives on! yay! Great bus-post, they are totally improving, although could still do with some more on exactly the times I use them! demanding? not at all

  13. Dublin Bus is such a great service. When I lived in Dublin, I took the bus all the time, rather than stressing over parking. I would have to agree with Niamh, they could do with being a little more exact with their times though!

  14. Thanks for the transport to your neck of the woods, Barbara. I remember the buses here in the 80's. They, too, had Mt. Everest steps. And when you climbed aboard, it felt like you had stepped into the Star Wars cantina : a motley assortment of faces and clothing assaulted your eyes. I fully expected to see a pirate — but never did.

    Our buses now have a quaint idea of meeting their schedules called, “You mean there's a schedule?” So if it's important, and you're on foot, you call a taxi. If not, you set out early for the bus, or you walk or bike. But now, they certainly look odd : small, like darting bread loaves of steel.

    Thanks for the lovely post, Roland

  15. I know I said I was going to bed but I just thought I'd stop by for a bit and then you know, I had to read and I started thinking about bus memories only mine are of the sixties because I'm well – that's enough about that – but I remember when we lived in Oakville, Ontario and I would take the bus into Toronto or freedom as I remember it. Oh it was heaven and I loved that stinky smell because it meant no nosey adults digging into my life. I still like the smell of diesel. I live in the burbs of Halifax, Nova Scotia and we don't have a bus here. We have a community centre that is opening next week with much hooha and on the big sign with a painting of how it is to look, the artist painted a city bus so all the little communities out here got all hexited because we were getting a bus, a real bus! Yay! Then we found out nope! Just a rumour based on an artist's rendition. Blast. My sweet patootie thought it would be fun if we made a life-size cutout bus and snuck it up to lean against the new building in the middle of the night before the opening but we'd better get at it. Our poor teens have to depend on their poor parents to get in and out endlessly. Shite. I'd love a bus. Even a smelly one.

  16. Great Comments… think we all have bus memories!

    Annette – you have my respect for tackling roads on a bike – and with small child! Stay safe or as they used to say in Hill Street Blues (as we are in the 80s) “lets be careful out there”

    Niamh and Olive – hi and I take your point about timings. Carla (daughter) says the same. I guess you are all on tighter schedules than moi!

    Roland – welcome! 'The Star Wars Cantina' = brilliant. I would happily return to the 80s if I could wander into the Star Wars Cantina!! Great image!

    Jan – welcome here too. No buses in the burbs in Nova Scotia… what can we do. Maybe you could write to Dublin Bus and see if they could send over one of their old smelly ones… transport might be a problem though!!!

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