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Goodbye to the 46a? Famous Dublin Bus routes would be scrapped as part of 'radical' new plan

What do you think of it? The public will be asked to submit their opinions on it from 16 July.

Updated Jul 2nd 2018, 1:07 PM

THE NATIONAL TRANSPORT Authority is in the middle of redesigning Dublin’s bus network, and has released the proposed new routes today.

The network is being redesigned in an attempt to make bus routes simpler for tourists to understand and more efficient so that buses come more frequently.

However, due to the frequency with which some routes will run compared to others, people may have to change buses on the way into the city centre.

Speaking today, Minister for Transport Shane Ross said that the new route design is a “radical change” but a “necessary part of the jigsaw” in solving congestion in the city centre.

Currently, Dublin city’s bus routes look like this:

BusConnects2 Source: BusConnects

Consultancy Jarrett Walker, which are tasked with the redesign, said of the current network set up:

“The city centre network is so complex that it is impossible to draw a clear map of it. A more useful network would have fewer overlapping routes, but those routes would run much more frequently so that they are coming whenever you need them.”

Walker added that there are currently an enormous number of routes in the city, and that this redesign would simplify the routes without leaving anyone without a service.

According to the proposal, this change would result in a number of benefits.

Nearly 1 million Dublin-area residents will have a bus available to them every 15 minutes or better, compared to 750,000 now. That’s an increase of about 30%.

One of the main features proposed is ‘seven super-frequent spines’. These spines would flow through the city centre and have buses travelling through every 4 to 8 minutes.

Spine routes Source: BusConnects

The spines would be designated by letters A to G, and would split out to different areas as it moves from the city centre, meaning the end of routes named the 46a, 79 or 40.

“A customer would be able to navigate much of inner Dublin by treating the letter as identifying a line and ignoring the number. Signs and information in this area should use a term like ‘all A buses’”, to reinforce this simplicity.

Walker said that even though some people may have to change buses on their commute, the new system is aimed at quickening the process, with increased frequency on selected routes meaning people wait less time for their bus to come.

Here’s the proposed new bus signs that would correspond to that system:

Bus sign Source: BusConnects

There will be more orbital routes, meaning routes that travel through the outskirts of the city centre but won’t go through it.

There will also be a greater attempt to integrate the bus route network with other transport systems such as the Luas and the Dart. To do this, there’s a proposal to have a fixed ‘90-minute fare‘ where you can take as many bus, Luas or Dart trips as you wish.

It also could mean that your local bus route is removed or will change slightly, but overall the proposals are suggesting an increase and improvement to the current network.

These are not the final proposals for the bus network redesign – there’s a public consultation period which will run from 16 July to 14 September where you can submit your take on what’s been suggested. More details on the NTA website.

Today, Minister Ross, Walker, Dublin Bus CEO Ray Coyne and National Transport Authority CEO Anne Graham all urged people to have their say.

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