Without changing the ticketing systems and the bus fares structure, the overall project would not deliver the full benefits that are possible under this transformation.
The second biggest source of bus delays, after traffic congestion, is the payment process at bus stops. Payment of fares by cash is still commonplace, slowing down the boarding time. Even when using the Leap Card, the complexity of payment stages means a high percentage of passengers have to interact with the driver, with resultant delays at bus stops. At busy bus stops these delays can be for several minutes. Multiply by the number of busy stops on a route, and those delays accumulate to add significantly to the overall journey time.
To tackle this, one of the NTA’s overall objectives is to develop a state-of-the-art ticketing system that ultimately makes payments more convenient for passengers. The Next Generation Ticketing element of BusConnects Dublin will implement an Account Based Ticketing (ABT) as the preferred option. This system aims to use cashless technology, allowing for payments to be made using cEMV (contactless credit and debit cards), mobile phones and tokens, all linked to a payment account. NGT will be implemented across Public Transport modes including metro, Luas and rail allowing for a seamless multimodal trip. The average bus user travels a distance of 8km passing by approximately 19 stops (assuming a stop spacing of 400m66). The BusConnects Dublin NGT element will facilitate the boarding process and reduce dwell time at each stop. In a scenario where this reduced dwell times at stops by 5 seconds this would deliver over 13 hours in time savings for the average bus user per year.