Innefficient Bus Company to run Dublin's new Rapid Transit

Monday, February 3, 2014

Three Bus Rapid Transit routes, costing up to €650 million, have been proposed for Fingal by the National Transport Authority.

The system, which will be called Swiftway, would operate as a Luas on wheels with the capacity to carry between 2,400 and 3,600 passengers per hour.

Dublin Bus to Run BRT
Each route could be put in place at about a third of the cost of a light rail line, and less than one tenth of the estimated cost of Metro North or Metro West. The lines would run from Swords and Dublin Airport to the city centre, Blanchardstown to UCD, and Clongriffin to Tallaght.

The Blanchardstown to UCD route will likely cost between €150 and €200 million to set up and would have a journey time of approximately 40 minutes. At a briefing for Fingsl County Council I asked Hugh Creegan of the National Transport Authority who would run the service and was told that Dublin Bus had been selected. This surely is bad news for commuters and the tax payer as Dublin Bus are not the most efficient operators of transport systems and this will be likely be reflected in the fares to be charged.
The scheme will go on public display at local council offices from February 17th and I expect it will be submitted to An Bord Pleanála for approval at the start of 2015. If funding is available it could be operational by 2019.

Bus Rapid Transport is already operating as an effective, cost efficient and high quality public transport system in many European cities. Simply speaking, it is like a Luas on wheels that runs along a dedicated road corridor. There will be a special long vehicle like a Luas with Luas style stops along the way. It is categorised between conventional bus and light rail and while it cannot carry quite as many passengers, it can be built at about a third of the cost of Luas.

As with the Luas, passengers would not engage with the driver but would buy tickets from vending machines at stops, or use the Leap card. Vehicles would have multiple doors at platform level to increase boarding speed, and the stops would be similar in frequency to a Luas service.

As the economy recovers our roads are getting busier so we will need systems like this in place until longer term projects like Metro North and Metro West become viable again. The journey from Blanchardstown to the city centre and onto UCD is pretty slow by bus at peak times. This new system has the potential to cut that time by up to 40 per cent.

The proposed route will start at Beechfield in Castaheany, run along the Ongar Road and up the Blanchardstown Road South to the Centre whence it will travel along the existing 39 bus lane to the quays, crossing from there into the Liberties, Christchurch, Georges Street, Aungier Street, St Stephens Green, Leeson Street and down the N11 to UCD.

One obvious link missing from the route is that with Hueston Station which could accommodate those commuting in from Kildare and beyond and provide a valuable link to Blanchardstown.

More detail on the scheme can be found here.

Post a Comment

Right Click

Blog Archive

Search Site

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by 2009

Back to TOP