Dublin Bus route changes are welcome, but can they deliver?

At the beginning of 2009 the Department of Transport release the findings of the Deloitte report on Dublin Bus

In the report Deloitte identified a number of areas where there was potential to make improvements exists, such as:

  • Complexity of network and services.
  • Instances of bus bunching.
  • Direct routing of services.
  • Achieving value for money from service provision.
  • Eliminate routes operating to garages with no apparent customer demand.

In my submission to South Dublin on the new development plan last year, I outlined which may get more people using Dublin Bus:

  • Having a frequent service and direct route to your destination.
  • Knowing when the next bus will come. The current Dublin Bus timetable is totally irrelevant. Knowing that a bus left Maynooth at 8am as your standing in Lucan wondering when it might arrive is useless. The delivery of real time passenger information (RTPI) is vital for an improved service.

Following the Deloitte report Dublin Bus undertook a review of its network, recently the announced it’s proposed changes, the first phase will involve redesigning of services in Blanchardstown, Lucan and Stillorgan.

So what are the changes for Lucan/Adamstown commuters?

  • The 25 bus route will remain on its current route from Dodsboro to the City Centre and will be extended to Leeson Street Bridge (Wilton Terrace). The timetable for this service will be improved with even departure intervals.
  • Route 25A will operate on the current route to Palmerstown and will operate from Palmerstown via the Chapelizod Bypass giving faster journey times to the City Centre, and on to Leeson Street Bridge (Wilton Terrace).
  • A new Route 25B will operate from Adamstown via Lock Road, Esker Drive, Griffeen Avenue and The Outer Ring Road to The Penny Hill Pub. It will then operate the same route as Route 25a via Chapelizod Bypass giving faster journey times to the City Centre, and on to Leeson Street Bridge (Wilton Terrace). This will be replace the existing 151 bus route currently operating from Adamstown via Crumlin to the city centre.
  • The 151 Bus route will no longer travel into Adamstown instead it will terminate Kisogue Rail Station when opened in the short term at Grange Castle Business Park.
  • There is no mention of the current 239 service from The Blanchardstown Shopping Centre to Liffey Valley Centre?

See link to map showing new routes Lucan corridor

So are these changes an improvement for commuters in Lucan/Adamstown?

  1. All commuters want faster and more direct routes to their destination by and large I believe these changes will make a considerable difference to most commuter in the greater Lucan area.
  2. While the 25A service is largely unchanged it does cut out travelling through Chapelizod village, thus reducing overall journey times to the city centre. It also has been extended to Leeson Street Bridge (Wilton Terrace) which will benefit many commuters working on the South side of the city.
  3. The new 25B will reduce journey time considerably in my opinion, travelling down Griffeen Avenue, the Outer Ring Road, then along the N4 and Chapelizod bypass it too is extended to Leeson Street Bridge area. It will also give residents along the Outer Ring Road additional services.
  4. Some people currently using the 151 to the get to Clondalkin/Crumlin area of the city may be discommoded by the changes, but it is my understanding the numbers are very small.
  5. I do have some doubt when these changes will be implemented, past experiences of Dublin Bus in relation to change has been poor.There is no additional money to implement these changes. In fact Dublin Bus say they will be 90 less buses operating and 150 voluntary redundancies, while still claiming to have a more frequent service through out the day. There has been no discussion to date in the media if these proposed route changes have been been discussed with Union representatives, the introduction of the 128 route last year caused considerable union unrest and took several trips to the Labour court to resolve, and even then it was a fudge. see link unofficial industrial action at Dublin Bus.
  6. Cross city bus route will be beneficial to commuters many of whom their place of work is not the city centre. I will also beneficial to the centre of Dublin Dublin Bus has been partially responsible for congestion with hundreds of buses unnecessarily parked up round the centre.

What are the missing links for an even better Bus Service?

  1. Installation of RTPI real time passenger information display boards at all bus stops, similar to Luas stops, with clever marketing a scheme such as that operated by Dublinbikes could pay for their instillation.The proposed text service is not enough, it does not help the elderly commuter or tourists who may not wish to incur roaming charges .
  2. The introduction of a smart-card system which is usable with all other modes of public transport which is used in almost all other developed countries. It almost 20 years in planning why has it taken so long?
  3. Removal of fairs collected by drivers, this would speed up the  journey times. Prepaid tickets and smart cards are the answer.
  4. Allow private operators compete on some of the busier routes competition is good for everyone.

I welcome the fact that Lucan was chosen in Phase One of Network Direct, bus services have never matched the rapid development of Lucan. Until the Department of Transport implements all of the above improvements, the shift away from car transport will be minimal. I would have taught with the Green Party in Government we would have seen a speedier roll out of improvements in public transport, so far I have been disappointed.

Dublin Bus are inviting customers in Lucan/Adamstown to meet and discuss these proposed changes at Superquinn Shopping Centre, Lucan on Friday May 14th 2.00pm – 8.00pm.

They will have staff on hand to answer questions and to explain in full detail the benefits the redesigned service will have. If you have the time please go along and ask some of the questions around some of the issues I have raised.

For more information email: networkdirect@dublinbus.ie

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