July 5, 2017, 3:31 p.m.
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AN ONLINE CONSULTATION asking the public’s opinion on the future of the bus network in Dublin has generated 7,000 responses so far.The National Transport Authority (NTA) recently launched its ambitious BusConnects plan, which includes plans for bus corridors, new routes, rapid transit routes and cashless fare payments.An online survey to gauge people’s views on the future of bus services was launched last month, and NTA chief executive Anne Graham said the responses to the consultation survey would inform plans going forward.She said: “We will go through the submissions in detail in the weeks ahead. The responses to the survey will be used to inform the network redesign process which will produce a detailed Network Review Report that will published later this year.”The NTA are particularly keen to hear the public’s views on section 5 of this report, which delves into possible options to improve on the bus service as it currently exists.Redesigning the bus service will involve making improvements on the number of overlapping routes, the high number of buses in the city and the poor connectivity between other areas of Dublin that aren’t the city centre.Strategies proposed in this section of the report includes standardising the patterns and frequency of buses at peak times, simplifying routes to make them easier to follow and growing suburban networks.Graham said: “The consultation is due to close on Friday of this week, so people still have an opportunity to fill in the survey.The online survey will remain open for another week, closing on Friday 14 July.BusConnectsUnder the BusConnects plan, one of the features would see the introduction of a new Bus Rapid Transit system that will see a new network of faster bus routes throughout Dublin.Here are the new routes for the new Bus Rapid Transit network.
Source: National Transport AuthorityThe BRT network includes three proposed routes:The BRT system will use multi-door vehicles, higher platforms for level boarding and stops that are spaced further apart than other buses. Using specially designed vehicles, buses on BRT routes can cater for a higher volume of passengers than those on a normal bus corridor.New orbital routes are set to be introduced to provide bus routes around the outskirts of the capital and so that buses will not have to drive through the city centre.Currently, the majority of cross-city Dublin Bus journeys can only be made by first travelling into the city centre to catch a second bus.The new ticketing system would use credit and debit cards or mobile phones to link with payment accounts, to make paying fares more convenient – eventually moving to a cashless ‘tag-on, tag-off’ system.The total cost of BusConnects is estimated to be over €1 billion.With reporting from Hayley Halpin

http://www.thejournal.ie/dublin-bus-consultation-3480236-Jul2017/