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Thursday 19 July 2018

Explained: How system built around seven 'spines' aims to make your Dublin bus journey simpler

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Click to view full size graphic
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

There are 130 bus routes currently available in the capital, but transport planners believe the system is overly complex, with not enough routes allowing people to travel from one side of the city to the other without going through the city centre. The network redesign aims to change that.

At its heart is the creation of seven cross-city spines, running from one side of the city to the other. Buses will be labelled from A to G, followed by a digit.

For example, the A spine in its entirety runs from Tallaght to Swords. The core of this spine runs from Terenure, to north of Glasnevin. Travelling southside from the city centre, all buses with the letter A will go through Terenure. The A spine will terminate in the village, A1 will continue to Knocklyon, A2 to Tallaght, A3 to Dundrum and A4 to Rathfarnham.

Key is access to these seven spines, which will be facilitated through local services that will be numbered, and through radial and orbital routes.

A commuter in Ballyfermot currently uses the 79 or 79a which runs directly into the city. Those routes will be replaced with the S4. A passenger will board the S4, before changing to the G spine and continuing into the city.

These spines will see services every five to eight minutes, but there will be more orbital routes too. Some 11 in total are planned, which would allow people to travel around the city, again with access from local services. One proposed is from Adamstown to Tallaght. Additional services are also proposed at peak times, serving workplaces and universities, and there is an inner city high-frequency orbital route along the canals, meaning passengers can switch to services so they avoid going through the city centre.

The public can have their say on the plan in a consultation. Photo: Rollingnews.ie
The public can have their say on the plan in a consultation. Photo: Rollingnews.ie

At the outer edges, frequent local routes feed into the spines which serve the city.

While the network will take getting used to, changes to the fare structure are also proposed.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is planning to introduce two fares - one for short trips, and a second 90-minute fare which can be used across bus, Dart and Luas.

The idea is that the bus network forms parts of the wider public transport network, so commuters use the modes of transport which best suit their journey.

For some, it may be beneficial to get the bus part of the way, and then transfer to Luas.

The NTA was keen to stress the need for public engagement.

If commuters felt they were losing a service, without a viable replacement, they should engage in the public consultation process which begins later this month.

Irish Independent

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