Bus ireann is set to close down a number of its inter-city Expressway routes over the coming months, according to reports.
Severe financial pressures - which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic - are said to have led the state-owned transport authority to consider ending high-cost, low-return services.
The Irish Times report that Bus ireann is to end the current Dublin-Cork, Dublin-Limerick and Dublin-Galway routes, while the company is also expected to suspend its current Dublin-Belfast route.
The report adds that the company does not expect the route closures to result in any job losses.
The measure is being taken in response to significant medium-term challenges posed by Covid-19 in order to safeguard Expressways remaining 14 national routes and meet demand required on other city and commuter services, aBus ireann spokesperson said, via The Journal.
The decision was made at a meeting of the companys board today following considerable analysis and review over the past number of months.
No exact dates for the changes to come into effect have been determined as of yet but are likely to be early next year.
Bus ireann has already ended the express service between Galway and Limerick via Shannon airport - which was no longer viable once the airline industry entered a virtual shut-down at the end of March.
Stephen Kent, Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Authority said: "We have an opportunity through the July stimulus measures for public transport to increase our Bus ireann city services in Cork, Galway and Limerick, as well other services as in Louth and Meath under contract to the NTA.
This expansion will require more than 100 drivers which we can fully deliver by consolidating our Expressway network and taking a decision to withdraw from a small number of Expressway routes which would otherwise incur unsustainable losses and thereby avoid job losses in a very difficult trading environment.