By Sean Moriarty
Bus Eireann has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser this week that the customer waiting area in Killarney bus station will reopen today (Friday).
Last Saturday ‘The Coffee Bus’ café and shop, at the Bus Eireann stop adjacent to the Outlet Centre, closed after 20 years in business.
The coffee shop was adjacent to a waiting area and automatic ticket dispensing machines. But now that the café is closed customers could no longer access the waiting lobby and ticket machine. Bus Eireann was advising passengers to pay the driver on the bus or pre-book online.
However, the company reversed this decision on Wednesday and confirmed that the facility will re-open today (Friday), but the ticket office would not be manned. Instead, customers can use the ticket machines in the waiting area.
“The retail unit within the outlet, which was operated by an independent retailer remained open until last weekend at which point it closed. It is anticipated that the closure of the retail unit will be temporary and CIE’s property department are actively seeking a new tenant,” said a Bus Eireann spokesperson.
“The customer waiting area, which is contained within the retail unit will re-open from this Friday.”
The closure of the Bus Eireann ticket office was criticised by tourism and business leaders in Killarney this week. They said it is not a good image to give visitors.
“There should be customer service available to tourists and customers alike for a town our size,” Paul Sherry, President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, told the Killarney Advertiser. “I am told it is a temporary arrangement while refurbishment work is carried out, and Bus Eireann is doing its best in the interim.”
The ticket office has been unmanned since 2017 but Bus Eireann do employ staff to run it during the busy summer months.
“It was closed as part of a previous restructuring in the organisation, although it was manned this year during the busier tourist months,” added the Bus Eireann spokesperson.
TD Danny Healy-Rae said that he is pleased that Bus Eireann has confirmed that they have now made alternative arrangements and intend to reopen Killarney Bus Station, from Friday.