In recent weeks, I have received many questions and queries about the DRAFT plan published by the National Transport Authority that would greatly change how we access public transport across Dublin.
Therefore, I have put together some information detailing some of the changes contained in the draft plan and how these proposals might impact upon you and our neighbourhood.
It is also important to remember that these proposals are contained in a DRAFT which no doubt will evolve as work continues to improve our public transport network.
Make sure to have your say during this phase of public consultation and as your LOCAL Councillor, I want to hear what you think about these proposals as I engage further on your behalf with the National Transport Authority.
WHAT IS BUSCONNECTS?
BusConnects aims to overhaul the current bus system in Dublin by:
• Building a network of “next generation” bus corridors on the busiest bus routes to make bus journeys faster, predictable and reliable;
• Introducing Bus Rapid Transit; a higher quality of bus system, on three of the busiest corridors;
• Completely redesigning the network of bus routes to provide a more efficient network, connecting more places and carrying more passengers;
• Developing a state-of-the-art ticketing system using credit and debit cards or mobile phones to link with payment accounts and making payment much more convenient;
• Implementing a cashless payment system to vastly speed up passenger boarding times;
• Revamping the fare system to provide a simpler fare structure, allowing seamless movement between different transport services without financial penalty;
• Implementing a new bus livery providing a modern look and feel to the new bus system;
• Rolling out new bus stops with better signage and information and increasing the provision of additional bus shelters;
• Transitioning – starting now – to a new bus fleet using low-emission vehicle technologies.
WHY IS BUSCONNECTS BEING PUT FORWARD?
Redesigning the bus network, it is hoped, will ensure Dubliners have a more reliable bus system that will be more useful to more people, thereby ensuring that more people get to more places, more quickly.
HOW WILL BUSCONNECTS MAKE THE BUS NETWORK BETTER?
• Increase the overall amount of bus services;
• Provide new and frequent orbital services connecting more outer parts of the city altogether;
• Simplify the bus services on key radial corridors into “spines” where all buses will operate under a common letter system and buses will run very frequently and be more evenly spaced;
• Increase the number of routes where buses will come at least every 15 minutes or better all day between 6am and 10pm weekdays.
HOW WILL THESE BUSCONNECTS PROPOSALS WORK?
The new network is made up of several kinds of service that are new to Dublin:
• Spines (Core Bus Corridor): Most buses to the centre would be on spines identified by a letter (A, B, C, D, E, F & G). On these lines, a bus would come every 4 to 8 minutes all day (3 to 6 minutes at peak times). Further out, spines would branch to cover more area, but usually still every 15 minutes or better.
• Orbital lines would run in arcs around the city. These lines would make it easier to go places on the same side of the city without going into the centre.
• Local routes would run within a suburban area and connect to major lines, including LUAS and DART. Many of these are more frequent than what is provided in those areas today.
• Everywhere that frequent lines cross, it would be easy to change buses. LUAS and DART are also part of this frequent grid.
HOW WILL BUSCONNECTS AFFECT BUS FARES?
Under these proposals, the National Transport Authority seeks to simplify fares across bus, LUAS and DART. There will be two LEAP fares:
• A “90 Minute Fare” that covers all bus, DART or LUAS trips started within that 90 minute period;
• A short distance fare paid each trip for short journeys.
Cash fares will continue to be available but will be payable for each trip.
HOW WILL BUSCONNECTS AFFECT LOCAL RESIDENTS?
STONEYBATTER / ARBOUR HILL / MONTPELIER / ARBOUR HILL
• The existing 39, 39A & 70 bus services will be replaced by the B Core Bus Corridor (Spine) that will have a bus frequency of every 6 – 7.5 minutes.
o This B Core Bus Corridor (Spine) will be the main bus link between Blanchardstown and the City Centre.
o Part of the National Transport Authority’s plan in respect of this proposal is to “remove general through traffic on Prussia Street and the Old Cabra Road”. I understand that local “access would still be maintained including” to the Park Shopping Centre but I am seeking assurances on this point.
o There is a potential loss of car-parking spaces, trees and front gardens along the proposed route length.
• The existing 37 bus service will be replaced by the N2 service that will have a bus frequency of every 20 – 25 minutes.
o This N2 route will continue to run between Hueston Station along Blackhorse Avenue and Skreen Road but it is now proposed to continue along Nephin Road to Broombridge LUAS Station onto the Old Finglas Road, Griffith Avenue before terminating at Alfie Byrne Road.
• The existing 46A bus service will be replaced by Line O Inner Orbital which is intended to surround the inner city around the North Circular Road and South Circular Road.
o Services on this route will operate every 8 minutes in the middle of the day.
o Line O would connect to every single service entering or leaving the city centre.
NORTH STRAND / EAST WALL / BALLYBOUGH
• Existing bus services along North Strand Road will be replaced by the D Core Bus Corridor (Spine) that will have a bus frequency of every 6 – 7.5 minutes.
o This D Core Bus Corridor (Spine) will be the main bus link between Clare Hall and Crumlin.
• The existing 130 bus service will be replaced by the 64 route that will have a bus frequency of every 15 minutes.
• A new 60 bus route serving Howth Road and Donaghmede and will operate along the North Strand Road every 15 minutes.
• The existing 53 bus service will be replaced by the N4 bus service that will operate every 10 minutes. This service will operate between Spencer Dock and Blanchardstown Shopping Centre.
o This N4 bus service will serve Spencer Dock, East Road, East Wall Road along Alfie Byrne Road connecting Clontarf Road DART Station before travelling to DCU and Blanchardstown Shopping Centre.
• The existing 151 bus service will be replaced by the 63 bus service that will operate on an hourly basis and will operate between Dublin Port and City West.
o This 63 bus service will connect Dublin Port, through East Wall along East Road, Church Road, St. Mary’s Road, West Road, East Wall Road, North Strand Road and into the City Centre and out to City West.
HOW CAN YOU HAVE YOUR SAY ON BUSCONNECTS?
The proposals contained in the National Transport Authority’s DRAFT plan for the future organisation of how we access our bus services are NOT THE FINAL PLAN! You can make your views known to the National Transport Authority by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday, September 28th next. I will be meeting National Transport Authority officials on September 20th so please share with me your views and observations on the proposed changes as well as any questions that you may have.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee