The National Transport Authority in conjunction with Dublin Bus have today launched the first phase of the new BusConnects network for Dublin. This phase includes routes connecting Dublin’s north east to the city centre covering the areas of Howth, Baldoyle, Donaghmede, Raheny, Malahide, Portmarnock and Howth.

BusConnects Dublin plans to deliver an enhanced bus system that is better for the city, its people and the environment. The programme includes a suite of transformative changes to the bus system, intended to make it more efficient, faster, reliable and easier to use. Today’s announcement relates to the bus network aspects of the programme and not the infrastructure proposals.

The overall objective of the improved network will be a significant increase in capacity and frequency for customers, as well as more evening and weekend services for all spines. This is the first phase in the implementation of the new BusConnects network and follows on from three rounds of public consultation which concluded in 2020.

The H spine branches are the primary driver of the new network delivering fast and frequent services to the city centre. Services on H1 (from Baldoyle), H2 (from Malahide) and H3 (from Howth) will provide greater levels of service to these residents and the surrounding communities.

The routes commence service from Sunday the 27th of June taking over from the current buses in operation namely the 29a, 32, 31, 31a and 31b. As part of these arrangements the terminus for route 130 will move from Lower Abbey Street to Talbot Street.

Old Routes New Routes
29a H1 (Baldoyle-Donaghmede-City Centre)
32 H2 (Malahide-Bayside-City Centre)
31/31a/31b H3 (Howth-Bayside-City Centre)
6    (Howth-Strand Road-Watermill Road-City  Centre)

The remaining phases of the network will be rolled out over an incremental basis in the coming years with the south east C spine (along the Lucan Road corridor) due to be launched in autumn 2021.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD said:

This is a milestone for the BusConnects project which will make Dublin a cleaner greener and more liveable city. By increasing services and frequency Dublin Bus and the NTA are making it easier for everyone to choose public transport to get to school, work or other locations.  In this first phase the people of Portmarnock, Malahide and Howth will enjoy better services than ever starting from next Sunday. The extra services at off peak times and on the weekends will also make it easier to enjoy a day at the beach, a walk on the pier, or a bite to eat during the outdoor summer.

Anne Graham CEO of the NTA said:

Today’s announcement is the first step in a transformation of Dublin’s bus services.

BusConnects is about improving bus services, but it’s also about connecting more people to more places. As part of the redesign of the network, we engaged with tens of thousands of members of the public across the city and across the region, who have been telling us what they are looking for in a bus network.

We have listened to what they have had to say and responded with a network that we believe is a positive change to the city’s services. Looking ahead to Sunday, I am confident that the new service will make travelling by bus easier than ever before.

Ray Coyne CEO of Dublin Bus said:

Today is a landmark day for public transport and Dublin Bus. The launch of H-Spine is positive news for our customers across North East Dublin who will have access to increased weekend and evening services, as well as increased capacity and frequency on these routes.

The Network Redesign is part of an ambitious investment of €2 billion in Dublin’s bus system. Dublin Bus is well positioned to build on this investment to the benefit of our customers. Investment of this scale in urban bus transport will benefit everyone in the capital.

It will help us increase growth in public transport usage, combat climate change and mitigate congestion by making Dublin Bus services better, quicker, more reliable option and strengthen the city’s economy as we seek to recover from the pandemic.

Andrew Edwards, Managing Director of Go-Ahead Ireland said:

This is a very significant day for the people and communities of northwest Dublin in particular.

Travelling by bus is changing in our city for the better and Go-Ahead are looking forward to being part of the Bus Connects network redesign. Our role in providing quick and efficient transport options for the communities we serve in Dublin is something we pride ourselves on and we know that the changes today can only benefit this goal.

Today’s announcement is the result of significant planning and customer engagement which we feel will ensure that the networks redesign is a huge success. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in the Department, National Transport Authority and Dublin Bus in providing a safe and efficient service for all.

More information on the phase one launch can be found on the Transport for Ireland website.