First ever public bus service to the Phoenix Park set to launch

New Route 99 will run between Parkgate Street and the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre

6 October 2023

5th October 2023 – Dublin’s newest public bus service – Route 99 – will start operating from next Sunday, October 8th, making the Phoenix Park and its attractions more accessible to commuters on public transport, for the first time.

Ministers of State for Transport Jack Chambers and Minister of State for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan, joined the National Transport Authority (NTA) to launch the new service today, connecting Europe’s largest enclosed public park to the city’s existing public transport network.

Route 99 will be operated by Dublin Bus and will run, on average, every 30 minutes seven days a week from 8.30am and 6.30pm. Route 99 is part of the TFI 90 minute Dublin Leap fare structure. However, the distance between the Phoenix Park Visitors’ Centre and Parkgate St is considered to be a ‘short journey’ the standalone fare for which is €1.30 and 65c for children.

Servicing popular visitor attractions such as Dublin Zoo and the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre

Initially, the new shuttle bus service will run between Parkgate Street and the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, via Chesterfield Avenue. Stops include Parkgate Street entrance and popular visitor attractions like Dublin Zoo and the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre. Visitors to Áras an Uachtaráin will be also facilitated with stops close to the Phoenix Monument.

Departing from Parkgate Street, the new service will allow visitors and commuters to interchange with the nearby Heuston Station and connect to existing Transport for Ireland (TFI) rail, bus and tram services.

The Phoenix Park Transport and Mobility Options Study, developed by the Office of Public Works, the NTA, Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council, identified the need for a bus service to the park as part of its ambition to reduce private car usage, enhance sustainable transportation modes for visitors and commuters, and minimize the impact of vehicles on the park and its surroundings.

New route will help increase the numbers accessing the park via public transport

The study found that public transport accounts for an 18% share of all trips with a destination in Phoenix Park. As the largest park in Dublin, with numerous significant attractions and thousands of annual visitors, the new shuttle service will help to increase the numbers accessing the park via public transport.

The new bus route has been designed to allow a greater number of trips to be facilitated by public transport to and from the Phoenix Park, taking into consideration the sensitive environment of the Phoenix Park. Once the service is operational, The NTA will assess customer feedback and demand, adjusting the hours of operation where required.

Historic event in the Phoenix Park’s 360-year history

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said: “This is a great service for everyone but it’s a particularly great service for families and children who can visit and enjoy the Phoenix Park, the Zoo and the Visitors’ Centre without having to deal with the hassle of parking.  The stop is just around the corner from Heuston Station and the Luas stop, which means that people can now travel into the city and access the attractions of the Park easily. It will also help free the Park further of traffic, protecting nature and making it an even nicer place to be for everyone.”

Speaking at the announcement, Minister of State Jack Chambers TD said: “It is a privilege to be here to launch this brand-new service, one that will benefit all users of the Phoenix Park, including the local communities, residents across Dublin, visitors from all over Ireland and international tourists. The Phoenix Park is an incredible amenity in the heart of Dublin, and it is important people have more opportunities to access and enjoy the park. Sustainable transport alternatives to private cars are an essential contribution to freeing up Dublin roads and making the city more accessible to all. Government is pleased to support expansions in public transport like this as we strive to meet our climate goals.”

Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan TD said: “The introduction of this Dublin Bus service is another important historic event in the Park’s 360-year history, and I encourage the public to avail of this new sustainable service.  This service is one of a number of recommendations contained in the Phoenix Park Transport and Mobility Options Study, which I commissioned and which the OPW has been implementing over the past two years with the support of its partners in the NTA, Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council. The Phoenix Park is appreciated by the public, and the OPW, as a valued urban green space and national amenity and I am pleased that today’s milestone, together with the progress made to date and the improvements we will progress will all contribute to safeguarding the Park’s diverse and complex functions, from historic landscape to biodiversity habitat to visitor attraction, recreational space and place of work.”

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA said: “We are delighted to launch the first ever public bus route servicing the Phoenix Park. The new service provides all those who use and enjoy the park with the opportunity to take a more sustainable transport option and leave their car at home. Route 99 has been designed to connect the park’s many attractions with the wider public transport network in Dublin. The rollout of the new shuttle bus service reflects the NTA commitment to expanding the public transport network in Dublin and encouraging commuters to swap the care for walking, cycling or public transport.”

Phil Donohue, Head of HR & Development, Dublin Bus, said: “Today is a really positive day for Dublin Bus and our customers. The Phoenix Park is one of our city’s most famous landmarks, and with the launch of Route 99, we are making it easier for people to access the Park and enjoy all it has to offer.”