Public consultation on new Bus Connects plan extended

Dubliners have been given more time to have their say on the latest plan for the redesign of the city's bus network.

Public consultation on new Bus Connects plan extended

Dubliners have been given more time to have their say on the latest plan for the redesign of the city's bus network.

The public consultation on changes to the first Bus Connects design has been extended until Tuesday.

Grainne Mackin from the National Transport Authority wants all public transport users to share their thoughts.

"Look at the website, check out the new Bus Route Mapper tool which I think is really helpful to people who are tech savvy," said Ms Mackin.

"Then if people think that there are pieces that are missing, if there's gaps still there, if they don't think that the frequency is there or it's not going to the right place, let us know."

Changes to Bus Connects were announced in October after concerns from thousands of people.

The controversial €2 billion plan received record 50,000 public submissions.

The latest changes to the plan could cost an extra €40m.

The National Transport Authority says it will mean a 22% increase in services.

Eight high frequency routes will serve Dublin city centre under the new changes which are now open for public consultation.

A new spine will serve Howth and parts of the north-east of the city, while 10 orbital routes will reduce the need for people to travel into the city centre.

The inner orbital route will operate two-way on the North and South Circular Roads at a frequency of every eight minutes all day.

Northern orbitals will serve key locations like Beaumont Hospital, DCU, Charlestown and Blanchardstown while southern orbitals will serve Ballsbridge, Rathmines, Heuston, UCD, Crumlin Hospital, Liffey Valley, Dundrum and Tallaght.

Then western orbitals will serve key locations such as Liffey Valley, Clondalkin Village and Tallaght.

The plan promises significant additions to evening and weekend services with frequent routes running every 15 minutes or better between 6am and 11pm on weekdays and Saturdays.

Most frequent routes will have this on Sundays as well.

Also included in the plan are additional peak-time services operating during weekday mornings and evenings.

A new 90-minute fare is to be introduced which will cover all bus, DART and Luas trips started within 90 minutes.

The fare is estimated between €2.25 and €2.60 and means that commuters will not have to pay extra to change between modes of public transport.

"Under the revised proposals 95% of areas that have zero interchange service to the city centre will now maintain this," said CEO of the National Transport Authority, Anne Graham.

"Then there are other areas that will have direct service during peak commuter hours.

"We have enhanced the connections to schools, hospitals and other services based on the consultation feedback.

"Some routes to various locations have been altered to better connect to schools, hospitals and shops."

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