If there was ever a question as to how much Dubliners cared for their bus service, the last 18 months gives us some idea. Plans to revise the bus network in Dublin has become one of the biggest talking points in the city and generated many news headlines.
In 2017, The National Transport Authority launched Bus Connects, an ambitious €2bn plan to change how we use the bus to get from A-B. Many bus passengers say it’s long overdue, with confusing route numbers, meandering routes and a complex fare structure making the simplest of journeys a struggle. For others, they like how the bus network is, and whilst they admit it needs to improve, they are cautious about how it’s done.
Under the Bus Connects plans, the new network will be based around spines, a group of corridors labeled A to H, with a high frequency core branching out into individual routes. These spine corridors will be supported by a new range of orbital services, local routes and additional “lifeline” routes connecting local areas with the city.
When the NTA released the first draft of their plans they were met with opposition. Resident groups across the city expressed anger at the prospect of losing their local route, bus driver unions took to social media to express their concerns, and politicians organised meetings to discuss the plans for their constituents. The Bus Connects team held 33 public events to explain the plans to the public and asked for feedback.
Almost 50,000 people submitted feedback, and in October 2019, the NTA released revised plans for the bus network. Grainne Macken, head of communications with Bus Connects, joins us on our latest podcast to update us on the plans.