Bus Éireann seeks bus only lanes on motorways

Bus Éireann also wants National Transport Authority to focus more on services outside Dublin

The State-owned transport company says it wants to rebuild its commercial intercity Expressway brand and network of services with faster times and more competitive fares

The State-owned transport company says it wants to rebuild its commercial intercity Expressway brand and network of services with faster times and more competitive fares

 

Bus Éireann is seeking to have lanes on motorways, including the M50 in Dublin, reserved exclusively for public transport vehicles.

In proposals submitted in recent days to the National Transport Authority for its 2018-22 strategy, the State-owned transport company called for the provision of bus-priority measures on the main public transport corridors.

It said these should include designating lanes for buses and higher occupancy vehicles on motorways into Dublin city and in provincial cities and towns.

The Bus Éireann submission suggests that more focus should be given by the National Transport Authority to services outside the capital as part of a multiannual capital investment programme.

It said the objectives and milestones set for the existing 2015/2017 strategy were focused entirely on the greater Dublin area, “with no mention of other regions”.

Bus Éireann said its work programmes were focussed on growing passenger numbers and capacity on its core network as the economy continued to expand “supported by fleet replacement, facilities and infrastructure investment”.

The company experienced a damaging three-week strike this year over plans by management to implement cost-saving measures in the loss-making company.

The company in its submission said it wanted to rebuild its commercial intercity Expressway brand and network of services with faster times and more competitive fares.

Private operators

Much of the company’s financial difficulties have been brought about as a result of intense competition from private operators using the motorway network, and in the submission Bus Éireann warned again about overcapacity in the sector.

It said it was supportive of a commercial licensing policy that was based on a sustainable approach to matching emerging supply and demand patterns. However, Bus Éireann said it was “concerned that this sustainable balance is not being achieved on certain inter-regional/intercity corridors, and that overcapacity is putting operators under considerable financial pressure in what is already a low-margin competitive environment”.

In the short to medium term, the bus operator says additional funding for public service obligation services outside of the Dublin area was required.

It said a clear, consistent and funded vehicle-replacement policy over a five to 10-year period was needed.

It also proposed investment in bus shelters and customer facilities in stations around the State, as well as new technologies for fare-ticketing systems.

Hinterland towns

Bus Éireann said it would support a new strategy for public transport services outside the Dublin metropolitan area. This should include minimum service frequencies for bus services from Dublin to larger metropolitan and hinterland towns. There should be similar approaches for the main provincial cities as well as local bus services for larger towns, linking to the town centre and onward public transport connections, and adjacent smaller towns.

The company suggested that there should be a transition to a fare system that facilitated multi-leg and multi-modal journeys, as well as an expansion of the Leap card ticket system not just within Dublin city but in the greater Dublin area and surrounding counties.

Bus Éireann also said the planning process should be developed “to ensure that no new home in an urban area is more than 800m from a bus, tram or rail stop, with a shorter distance of 500m to be targeted wherever feasible”.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.