TRANSPORT bosses are planning two high-speed bus corridors for Dublin, which could cost more than €450m.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) is planning two routes – from Blanchardstown to UCD and from Clongriffin on the Malahide Road to Tallaght – which could carry up to 3,600 passengers in each direction every hour.
Considered a less expensive option than building Luas or Metro lines, the corridors would still cost hundreds of millions of euro to build and some €40m a year to operate and maintain.
However, the Department of Transport said while there was no funding for the project in the medium-term, the study would be useful in deciding public transport investment after 2016.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) involves buses using lanes segregated from all other traffic, including taxis. The vehicles get priority at traffic lights.
Details of the schemes are contained in a feasibility study produced by the NTA, seen by the Irish Independent.
The study says that up to 30 buses an hour would use each route, with each vehicle having a capacity for 120 passengers.
Average speeds between 15kmh and 25kmh would have to be guaranteed to entice commuters out of their cars.
"One of the successes of Luas is the accessibility in that people of all ages and mobility are able to easily board and alight from it," the study states. "It is considered essential that the BRT system aspires to match the accessibility of Luas insofar as possible."
The Blanchardstown-UCD corridor would be 16.5km long and serve almost 150,000 people living within 1km of the stops. It would run from the Blanchardstown town centre to Stoneybatter, across the River Liffey and continue to High Street, St Stephen's Green and to UCD via Stillorgan Road.
It would cost €188m to build, including buying new vehicles, and €18.8m a year to operate and maintain.
The 23km Clongriffin to Tallaght route would cost €254m, including vehicles. Annual operation and maintenance costs are put at €25.8m, and it would serve 222,140 people.
It would run along the The Hole in the Wall Road to the Malahide Road in to Fairview, Kildare Street and Clanbrassil Street before terminating at the Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght via Kimmage.
BRT is used in the US, South America, Australia and parts of Europe.