New park and ride sites
To maximise the potential of the BusConnects Galway programme, the greatest number of people need to be able to substitute private cars for the bus service. For those travelling long distances, Park and Ride facilities allow travellers to transfer to high frequency bus services at the earliest practical opportunity.
A Park & Ride Strategy for Galway City is being developed to outline and deliver suitable bus and rail based Park & Ride facilities within and outside the city area to facilitate public transport intervention. The vision for the strategy is:
To support sustainable regional, urban, and rural growth through enhancing connectivity to high quality, accessible, low emission, and sustainable transport; empowering modal shift; and increasing the catchment areas of existing and future public transport by delivering a network of appropriate Park and Ride facilities.
The location of Park and Ride facilities is critical to their success. Important requirements for success include:
- High capacity and frequent bus service to ensure efficient service
- Fast and reliable times to commuter destinations to be attractive
- Sited away from congested locations to enable access
- Conveniently sited for drivers on-route to major destinations
- Sufficient capacity in local road network to accommodate extra demand
- Parking controls in nearby areas to discourage illegal parking/charge avoidance
- Combined price of fare and parking charge that are attractive to drivers
- Affordable costs of site acquisition, construction and on-going operation
These new Park & Ride facilities will include sufficient number of parking spaces, with a percentage of these designated for accessible users and electric vehicles with on-site charging infrastructure. Additionally, there will be bus laybys and high-quality passenger facilities including shelters, public lighting, CCTV, landscaping and bike shelters/locker to accommodate Active Travel users.
The National Transport Authority is also conducting evaluation to determine the suitable sites for these facilities in collaboration with local authorities. Efforts are underway to lodge statutory Planning Applications to the relevant authorities within the next few quarters to deliver these facilities. A framework is also under development to determine the operational model for parking fees and bus/train fares at the Park & Ride facilities to enhance their attractiveness to the users.