NTA seeks experts to overhaul metropolitan Cork’s bus network

Move is latest stage of the NTA’s €3.5bn Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy
NTA seeks experts to overhaul metropolitan Cork’s bus network

The ambitious blueprint provides a detailed framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure and services in the Cork metropolitan area over the next two decades. File picture. 

The public bus network across metropolitan Cork is set for a major redesign as part of an ambitious €3.5bn transport plan.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has published tender documents seeking expressions of interest from experts to assess the city’s current system and to overhaul it.

It could see certain bus routes change, and new ones introduced.

It’s the latest stage of the NTA’s €3.5bn Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) which was launched last year.

The flagship project is a €1bn suburban light rail system but there is also a €545m investment package for the bus network to deliver a 700% increase in bus lanes

The ambitious blueprint provides a detailed framework for the planning and delivery of transport infrastructure and services in the Cork metropolitan area over the next two decades.

It sets out major improvements in the area’s transport network, with investment in commuter rail, bus corridors, light rail, park, and rides, walking and cycling infrastructure, and road networks planned.

The flagship project is a €1bn suburban light rail system but there is also a €545m investment package for the bus network to deliver a 700% increase in bus lanes, from 14km today up to 100km.

CMATS describes the city’s bus network as the “workhorse or the glue of the city’s future public transport system”, with major plans for bus lanes and bus corridors, bus priority measures, and a new fleet, with ambitious predicted journey times of 20 minutes from Mahon to Blarney, 20 minutes from Ballincollig to Glanmire, 15 minutes from Dublin Hill to Togher, and Ringaskiddy to Cork Airport in 30 minutes.

But it will also result in an overhaul of the bus network.

The NTA now wants to appoint experts to review the existing network of PSO bus services in the Cork Metropolitan area and to design a “revised optimised network” to take account of the expanding city.

The new network must be designed to achieve an increased number of passengers using the PSO Services at a broadly equivalent cost to the cost of subvention of the current PSO services, the NTA said.

The NTA expects the work to start in January 2021 and take around 15-months to complete.

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