Monday 22 January 2018

Car still faster than bus on six key city routes

Paul Melia

IT is quicker to drive than take the bus on six of the 16 busiest routes into the capital.

A major report into travel times on Dublin's Quality Bus Corridors (QBC) shows workers travelling from Rathfarnham, Bray, north and south Clondalkin, Ballymun and the Howth road can get to work quicker if they choose private over public transport.

And the QBC Monitoring Report from the National Transport Authority (NTA) also shows that, on average, buses carry just one in three commuters into the city every day.

Of the 187,000 people who cross the canal cordon every morning between 7am and 10am, just 56,000 travel by bus, almost 30pc.

Another 25,000 (13.7pc) travel by rail; 8,700 (4.6pc) by Luas; 71,000 by car (37pc); another 5,520 by bike (2.9pc) with the remainder on foot or in taxis.

Journey times on some routes can be 21pc quicker by car than on Dublin Bus, the NTA said, but found that on quicker routes -- for example the Finglas to city centre service -- the bus was twice as quick as the car.

The bus priority routes are seen as a key part of encouraging commuters to switch from private to public transport because buses are given priority at traffic lights and do not have to share road space.


Journey times on the city's 16 QBCs have been monitored since 2002, and average travelling times have reduced.

The report found:

  • It takes 10.37 minutes to travel from Fingal to Lower Dorset Street by bus. The same journey by car took 19.53 minutes, a difference of 87pc.
  • The Raheny to Fairview trip took 12.37 minutes by bus, compared with 9.57 minutes by car -- a difference of 21pc.
  • Average bus speeds in the city are increasing. In 2009, speeds in the morning peak improved from 15.37kph to 16.61kph. In the evening they rose from 14.37kph to 15.74kph.
  • The biggest improvement in journey times was on the Crumlin Road, up by 24pc.

"Bus average journey times have reduced in 12 of the 16 QBCs that were monitored," the report said.

The report also found there was a 6.6pc fall in the number of passengers in 2009, the most recent year for which figures are available.

The Government wants to cut transport emissions by 30pc by 2020 under ambitious targets contained in its Climate Change Bill. This means reducing the number of private cars on the road, and moving tens of thousands of daily commuters onto public transport.

Labour's transport spokesman Joe Costello said the numbers using the buses was "not satisfactory" and that a rapid bus transit system should be introduced.

This would allow larger buses to be used on heavily trafficked routes, and guarantee they would be given priority at traffic lights, much like the Luas.

"I think the public transport system has been lagging behind considerably in the urban areas," he added.

"One in three using the main public transport system, Dublin Bus, is not satisfactory at all."

Irish Independent

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