BusConnects is the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) programme to greatly improve bus and sustainable transport services. It is a key part of the Government’s polices to improve public transport and address climate change in Dublin and other cities. Dublin is growing and needs a bus network that works for a developing city. The aim of BusConnects is to deliver an enhanced bus system that is better for the city, its people and the environment. BusConnects is included in the Programme for Government “Our Shared Future” 2020, as well as within the following Government strategies: The National Development Plan 2021 - 2030; Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 – 2035; and The Climate Action Plan 2019.
BusConnects Dublin is designed to provide a better, more reliable and more efficient bus service for everyone. The full programme for BusConnects Dublin includes a range of interlinked and complementary proposals including:
Management elements: Redesigning the network to increase the number of homes, jobs and services with coverage, improving orbital accessibility and restructuring radial routes into spines;
Technological elements: Introducing new ticketing systems to improve convenience and reduce dwell time at bus stops;
Fleet elements: Replacing the bus fleet with low emission vehicles, introducing branding and livery to give a new “look and feel”;
Policy elements: Introducing a 90-minute ticket to remove the financial penalty for interchanging between buses or changing mode during trips;
Infrastructure elements: Creating infrastructure to separate buses and cyclists from other traffic to make sustainable travel a faster, safer and more reliable choice. Developing interchange hubs. Improving pedestrian facilities around bus stops.
Each of these elements individually brings its own benefits, but there are cumulative benefits that are dependent on the completion of the entire programme, given the network interdependencies between measures. The effectiveness of the programme is more than the sum of its parts. For example, some additional bus patronage will be attracted by simply adding new services and redesigning the network, but it will take an increase in speed and reliability to reach a wider section of the market. Addressing fares and making the system easier to use will bring another market segment on board. Bringing all these changes to people’s attention so that they can take advantage of the new opportunities would be difficult without refreshing the information system, the bus livery and the waiting environment.
From a policy perspective, the bus-based programme is an essential component of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 - 2035, which addresses specific issues that cannot be solved by other modes or by traffic demand management. Other significant components of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 –2035, notably the major projects of DART+ and MetroLink, are acknowledged in-parallel with BusConnects Dublin. The modelling and forecasting for BusConnects Dublin avoids any double counting of benefits across the major public transport schemes in the GDA strategy.
BusConnects Dublin includes a suite of transformative changes to the bus system, intended to make it more efficient, faster, reliable and easier to use, the key elements of the BusConnects Dublin programme are shown below. Each element of the BusConnects Dublin programme has gone through a rigorous selection and optioneering process by the NTA as part of the development of the Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 – 2035 and subsequent studies, NTA continue to develop and progress each of the elements.
BusConnects Dublin elements;