Confirmed: Luas causes bus journey times to more than double
Bus journey times through parts of Dublin city centre have more than doubled since new Luas lines opened, an Oireachtas committee has been told.
Council chiefs said that at the busiest part of the day, between 9am and 10am, it takes 23 minutes on average for a bus going north to south to navigate College Green.
Before the Luas Cross City lines came into operation it took about 10 minutes.
Changes to pedestrian crossings have also led to waiting times at lights more than doubling for people crossing by foot, Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan said.
"It was always recognised by the city council that College Green, which has only one lane in each direction, would not be able to accommodate the same number of buses and taxis following the introduction of Luas Cross City," Mr Keegan said.
The Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport was told by Dublin Bus that 17 of its routes have been realigned to ease congestion in the College Green area and another 10 will be moved out of the area on March 5. Longer 55-metre Luas trams operating more frequently will be travelling through College Green by the end of March.
They will be given priority at lights to avoid blocking traffic on the quays while crossing O'Connell Bridge and the Rosie Hackett Bridge.
Peter Lunden-Welden, chief executive of Luas operator Transdev, said seven new long trams will be on track in the first week of May. Mr Lunden-Welden said: "Whatever we put in place for Luas it seems that will not meet demand.
"My prediction is that will not solve the congestion. There will be higher demand."