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New, quicker Dublin Bus routes could require passengers to change more often

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Passengers could be forced to change from one bus to ­another under proposals from the ­National Transport ­Authority (NTA) to improve services for 400,000 daily commuters.

Although less convenient, it would result in faster trips.

If implemented, services would be provided every three to six minutes on high-frequency corridors across the city, with local services to specific destinations every 15 minutes.

The main radial bus corridors through the city centre would run between fixed terminuses, for example Dublin Airport to Rathgar, or Crumlin to Artane.

Different routes would use the corridors, but branch out to serve local areas.

Suburban feeder routes could also be developed.

These include Dunboyne to Blanchardstown, where instead of one bus service operating to Blanchardstown and another from Dunboyne to the city centre, commuters would all travel to Blanchardstown and then switch to a high-frequency corridor to the city centre.

In other cases, orbital routes would be developed to ­improve connectivity between the high-frequency corridors and local areas.

The NTA has launched a public consultation into the plans, called the Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign Choices Report, stressing that no decisions have been made.

US transport consultant ­Jarrett Walker, who is working with the NTA, said increased passenger numbers would follow if high-frequency corridors, with fast, reliable and connected services, were developed.

The "pay-offs" for increased frequencies were "high".

"People are attracted to Luas because it's one or two lines and you know what to do. It's impossible to do this with buses," he said.

"The big question is can we ask people to change buses more if you produce a network which is more frequent and gets you to where you want to go quicker?"

The plan, which is part of the Bus Connects project, could be implemented from late 2018, and is not dependent on capital funding to improve bus corridors.

The NTA says the "overwhelming majority" of passengers will benefit.

Dublin Bus said an excellent bus network was of "strategic importance" to the city. Details can be found at busconnects.ie.

Paul Melia

Via Herald.ie