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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 21 May, 2018
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These are the planned routes for the new 'Bus Rapid Transit' network in Dublin

A new express bus system is being planned for the capital.

NEW PLANS TO reduce congestion in Dublin city centre have been announced today under the name ‘BusConnects’.

The system will include a ‘high-quality’ express bus system, it’s planned.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) plans to redesign Dublin’s bus system with continuous bus corridors, a redesign of the network of buses, cashless fare payments and a redesign of the bus livery.

Eleven radial bus routes (routes that travel through the city centre), three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes, and three orbital bus corridors will be introduced with the aim of removing “the current delays and uncertainties” in the system, according to the NTA.

Building of the new bus corridors is due to commence in late 2019. However, no final date for completion for the entire system has been given as planning permission and Government funding must be sought.

Faster routes

Under the BusConnects plan, a new Bus Rapid Transit system will see a new network of faster bus routes from the city centre to the outskirts of Dublin.

Here’s the new route for the new Bus Rapid Transit network…

IMG_0116 Source: National Transport Authority

The BRT network includes three proposed routes:

  • Blanchardstown to UCD
  • Clongriffin to Tallaght
  • Swords to the city centre

Speaking at the announcement today, CEO of the NTA Anne Graham said that the BRT was designed to provide extra passenger capacity on busier routes in the capital.

The BRT system will use multi-door vehicles, higher platforms for level boarding and stops that are spaced further apart than other buses. Using specially-designed vehicles, buses on BRT routes can cater for a higher volume of passengers than those on a normal bus corridor.

New orbital routes are set to be introduced to provide bus routes around the outskirts of the capital and so that buses will not have to drive through the city centre.

Currently, the majority of cross-city Dublin Bus journeys can only be made by first travelling into the city centre to catch a second bus.

IMG_0118 Source: NTA

The new ticketing system would use credit and debit cards or mobile phones to link with payment accounts, to make paying fares more convenient – eventually moving to a cashless ‘tag-on, tag-off’ system.

“One of the delays in movement of buses is boarding and paying your fare. Without changing the fare structure, we’re moving to a cashless trial and investing in new ticketing systems,” Graham said.

“Fares will be made simpler and the financial penalty of taking a second bus will be removed. We will consider a single fare structure.”

We’re more likely to move to a tag-on and tag-off arrangement and this will remove the current major delay in bus stops, where a high proportion of passengers have to interact with the driver, even when paying by Leap Card.

“BusConnects will incorporate the latest developments in account-based ticketing technology, potentially allowing the use of credit cards and debit cards or mobile devices,” she added.

A redesign of the livery is also being planned. ”We are going to look at a new, fresh and modern bus system,” Graham said.

The plans are being proposed to help reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions by encouraging people to take public transport – but also to help cut down on congestion in the city centre, which at its worst, looks like this:

IMG_0120 Source: NTA

Sustainable-energy buses will also be introduced into public transport fleets by next year, in an effort to reduce our carbon emissions.

The total cost of BusConnects is estimated to be over €1 billion.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross confirmed today that €300 million has already been committed to the plan, under “Building on Recovery”, the 2015 capital plan.

Minister Ross said:

The proposals being put forward today can potentially transform Dublin’s bus system in a fundamental way, so that when it comes to speed, punctuality, reliability and convenience, journeys by bus can be better than ever before.

“By investing in our bus services, we will make the city a better place, and a more attractive place to work, play or invest in,” Ross said.

- With reporting by Gráinne Ní Aodha 

Read: By 2018, transport fleets like Bus Éireann will have green energy buses

Read: Long-awaited clamping regulations to begin next week

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