Ambitious suite of initiatives will transform bus services in Dublin region

BusConnects, a suite of initiatives to radically transform public transport in the Dublin region, was launched today by Minister for Transport Sport and Tourism Shane Ross, and Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Authority. The ambitious proposals will put bus services at the heart of the solution when it comes to addressing congestion in the capital. The total cost of BusConnects is estimated to be over €1b, some €300m of which is already committed under “Building on Recovery”, the 2015 capital plan.

BusConnects proposals include:

  • Next generation bus corridors
  • Bus Rapid Transit
  • Redesigning the network of bus routes
  • State-of-the-art ticketing system
  • Cashless fare payment system
  • Simpler fare structure
  • Refreshing the bus livery
  • Rolling out new bus stops with better signage and information
  • Cleaner technology

When there are so many better things we could be doing – whether that’s spending time with family, out with friends, going to a movie or a match – nobody wants to be stuck in traffic.

Anne Graham said: “Thanks to BusConnects, just about everybody will be able to beat the congestion by using the bus rather than a car, to get around.

We believe that there is potential to increase bus passenger numbers by at least 50% over the lifetime of the project, which would represent a significant step-change in how people get from place to place.

This can only happen if measures are put in place to make bus travel more convenient, more reliable and more appealing and we believe that BusConnects will do precisely that.

In 2015, the Government’s Capital Plan earmarked €3.6b for investment to progress public transport projects. These included Metro North, Dart Expansion to Balbriggan and Maynooth, Dart Underground, Luas Cross City and the Phoenix Park tunnel among others.

As we approach the mid-term review of the capital plan, a strong commitment to these projects remains. In fact Phoenix Park Tunnel is now operating very successfully and Luas Cross City is close to completion.

But Dublin is a low density city which means that that very few areas of Dublin have the size and concentration of population to support rail-based public transport. For most areas, bus transport represents the best public transport solution.

In any case, rail projects typically have lead-in times of 8-10 years, and with congestion continuing to worsen every month, more immediate solutions are required.

That is why today, the plans we are publishing are primarily about investing in bus transport. They sit alongside our longer-term commitments to the rail corridors, and complement them. These solutions will generally have a much shorter turn-around time, which means that we can make travel by bus an increasingly attractive option for commuters all across the network, sooner rather than later.

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.”

Minister Ross said: “We have seen remarkable growth in our economy in recent years, and that recovery is continuing.

That means more jobs, more people at work, more people out socialising, and more people visiting, all of which is to be welcomed.

But it does place a strain on our transport infrastructure, and we’ve all seen the congestion in the city and across the region, that arises as a result.

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.

BusConnects will mean more people travelling by bus and will allow bus commuting to become a more viable and attractive choice for employees, families, students, shoppers and visitors.

This plan also aims to make cycling more attractive to all, which can have many positive impacts, meaning that using the bus or bike rather than the car to get around, will make more sense for more people and it will add to the energy, vibrancy and dynamism of a great city.”