The Government gave the green light to the multi-billion BusConnects programme for Dublin today, paving the way for the National Transport Authority (NTA) to submit planning applications for the Core Bus Corridors to An Bord Pleanála.
BusConnects will transform the city of Dublin, providing a faster and more efficient bus service for everyone in addition to delivering improved cycling and pedestrian facilities. The programme means that the city will see an increase of nearly 25% in bus services.
Minister Ryan said: ‘This is an exciting day for public transport in the city. Commuters will have access to a faster, and more flexible service, allowing them to more quickly move about the city for work, school and pleasure. We will have cleaner and quieter streets, and with the additional roll-out of zero emissions buses, to be incorporated into the BusConnects routes, we can look forward to a much better quality of life for Dubliners and visitors to the city. This is yet another example of how Government is delivering on our commitments to put major investment behind public transport projects that will meet our climate ambitions, and make our cities more sustainable and healthier for future generations’
By 2030, BusConnects Dublin will deliver 230km of bus corridors and 200km of cycling lanes, providing safe, accessible, and efficient transport to a many more people, while reducing traffic congestion as well as noise and air pollution.
It will represent a step-change in the provision of cycling facilities, delivering safe, segregated cycling provision along some of the busiest cycling arteries across the city. Alongside this, a new network of bus services will be rolled out across the city, with high-frequency services running along nine new Spines, improved orbital services and increased local services. Cleaner and quieter streets will be another benefit.
The current fleet of buses in Dublin will be increased and converted to zero-emission fleet by 2035, meeting rising demand and saving the equivalent of circa 85,000 tonnes of CO2 a year in line with our Climate Action Plan targets. Buses and shelters will be modernised, increasing accessibility, ensuring safe and enjoyable trips for passengers.
Today’s decision by Government will also allow the NTA to start the tendering process for the procurement of Next Generation Ticketing technology, allowing simple payment of fares with credit and debit cards, which will allow a greater number of citizens to travel more easily and efficiently by public transport.
Minister of State Naughton added: ‘BusConnects will make travel much easier for many more people. Complex bus networks and fares will be replaced by an efficient, safe, and reliable system. High-capacity zero-emission bus services will operate with increased frequency, improving access to employment, education and healthcare for all users. Improved bus capacity and payment options will reduce crowding and improve the quality of service to vulnerable passengers through more comfortable and accessible journeys.’
BusConnects Dublin will be delivered by the NTA.
Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA. welcomed Government’s decision stating: “The NTA welcomes today’s decision by the cabinet to give clearance for BusConnects to proceed. We believe that BusConnects is a game changer and will make a major contribution in terms of encouraging people on to public transport.
We want to provide a public transport service that delivers better on frequency and reliability so that it becomes more useful for more people in the years ahead, while at the same time, offering a sustainable alternative as part of the effort to tackle climate change.
The investment we are proposing through BusConnects is good news, but not just for bus passengers. Under our Core Bus Corridor plans we will be building 200km of cycle lanes on sixteen of the busiest bus corridors in and out of the city centre, and in so doing, making cycling safer and more attractive than ever before.”