When is City West not City West. Go Ahead's Wright Gemini 11550 is seen at the Dublin Bus City West terminus on the first departure on the 9th September 2018. Unfortunately a lack of homework meant I wasn't at the Route 175 terminus, though I wasn't the only one (click on photo for larger version).
Over the next few months Go-Ahead will take over 10% of the Dublin Bus network. Though the majority of the services are former Dublin Bus services, the intention is that this new operator will provide extra capacity. By taking over 10% of the buses of Dublin Bus, Dublin Bus can provide 10% more capacity on its retained services, as well as some new ones. The take over of 10% of Dublin's services by a private operator has long been muted. In fact Dublin Bus themselves tried to subcontract the bulk of these services in Feburary 2001. Today begain the process with Go-Ahead operating a new Route 175, from Citywest to UCD Belfield. Next month on the 7th October, they will take up existing services in Dun Laoghaire and Bray (45A, 59, 63, 75, 111, 184, 185). On the 18th November, northside services are added (17A, 33A, 33B, 102, 104, 220). The final batch to be taken over is on the 20th January with western orbitals/locals, and the inner southside orbitals (17, 18, 76, 76A, 114, 161, 236, 238, 239, 270).
Route 175 operates from CityWest (Kingswood Avenue) to UCD Belfield. The routing is via Tallaght, along the "Green Route" (a term used by South Dublin County Council for the new road from Kiltipper to Brehon Field Road), to Dundrum (serving the interchange) before heading up Taney Road and Mount Anville Road. Taney Road was used during the early years of the current Route 75, however from my knowledge, Mount Anville Road has not been served by a bus (at least not since the 1930s). The map below shows the full routing. It will be an important new service for South Dublin, helping out the often busy Route 75. It continues along the trend of recent new routes and route ammendments to serve universities, a positive focus point for the NTA.
Go-Ahead 11557 is seen at the Kingswood Avenue terminus of Route 175 on the 9th September 2018. This might be remembered as the terminus point for Route 201 and 202 in CityWest (click on photo for larger version).
The livery is pretty much brand new having only appeared in the last week or so. It is much more pleasant in reality than it seems in photos. The previous, expected, livery was blue at the front, and all new buses were delivered in this livery and acquired buses were repainted in it. However, before buses enter service they will be painted in the new yellow front livery, a blend of the NTA and Dublin Bus colours. The interior of these buses is different to those of Dublin Bus, albeit SG427 is a bit of a hybrid. As shown below, there is a new blue moquette on the seats, and a new panelling colour. All the Dublin Bus stops served on route have had their heads replaced (albeit the generic look of them is a bit bland compared to the DB logo), with significant effort put into new stop timetables (albeit with some notable issues with how the timetables are made which will cause confusion into the future (such as using stop names as termini points)). A number of new stops have also been placed along the route, and overall the route was quite prepared for its launch. The first day's service seemed to go off without a hitch.
The interior of the new Go Ahead Geminis.