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Next Stop

Cabinet approves moving BusConnects ahead to planning stage

Today’s decision will also allow the NTA to start the tendering process for ‘Next Generation Ticketing’ technology.

CABINET HAS APPROVED the next phase of its BusConnects plan, which will allow the National Transport Authority to submit planning applications for new bus corridors to An Bord Pleanála.

The Government is pledging that BusConnects will transform Dublin City by providing a “faster and more efficient” bus service.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that this will mean “cleaner and quieter streets”, as zero-emissions buses are incorporated into the new BusConnects routes.

The rapid transit system for Dublin was launched in 2017 under the name ‘BusConnects’.

There has been strong local opposition to the BusConnects plan in certain areas, with ribbons being tied around trees that would be cut down as part of a plan to make way for expanded bus routes and cycle lanes on the 16 busiest routes in and out of the city.

Minister Ryan said today that the BusConnects plan “really benefited” from the public consultation that happened from 2018 onwards, and that the plan is moving forward.

“We need to radically reduce our climate emissions, we need to switch away from reliance on imported fossil fuels, and the switch to public transport to cycling is going to be a key part of that,” Minister Ryan told reporters.

By 2030, it’s planned that BusConnects will deliver 230km of bus corridors and 200km of cycling lanes in Dublin.

The current fleet of buses in Dublin will be increased and converted to zero-emission fleet by 2035, meeting rising demand and saving the equivalent of circa 85,000 tonnes of CO2 a year in line with the Government’s Climate Action Plan targets.

Buses and shelters will be modernised to increase accessibility.

Today’s decision by Government will also allow the NTA to start the tendering process for the procurement of ‘Next Generation Ticketing’ technology, allowing simple payment of fares with credit and debit cards, which will allow a greater number of citizens to travel more easily and efficiently by public transport.

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA. welcomed Government’s decision. “We believe that BusConnects is a game changer and will make a major contribution in terms of encouraging people on to public transport.” 

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