Rapid bus scheme for Dublin ‘could cut journey times by 40%’
Luas-style routes would run from Swords and Dublin Airport to city centre, Blanchardstown to UCD, and Clongriffin to Tallaght
The NTA says Swords-Dublin city centre services could carry 2,400 to 3,600 passengers in each direction an hour, with buses arriving at a frequency of up to two minutes
Three Bus Rapid Transit routes, costing up to €650 million, have been proposed for Dublin by the National Transport Authority.
The system, which will be called Swiftway, would operate in a similar way to the Luas, and could cut bus journey times from outlying suburbs to the city by almost 40 per cent, the authority said.
Each route could be put in place at about a third of the cost of a light rail line, and less than one tenth of the estimated cost of Metro North. The lines would run from Swords and Dublin Airport to the city centre, Blanchardstown to UCD, and Clongriffin to Tallaght.
The airport line, which would run largely along the same route as Metro North, would have the “highest overall demand levels” and has been identified as the scheme most likely to proceed first.
The authority plans to make an application to An Bord Pleanála for the airport line this year and could, it said, have approval to proceed in the first half of next year.
While costs are only indicative at this stage, the airport line could be developed at a cost of €150 million to €200 million, compared to the €3 billion-plus estimated price tag for the shelved metro project.
A similar cost estimate has been put on the Blanchardstown to UCD route, with the Clongriffin to Tallaght line coming in at €200 million to €250 million.
As with the Luas , passengers would not engage with the driver but would buy tickets from vending machines at stops, or use the Leap card. Vehicles would have multiple doors at platform level to increase boarding speed, and the stops would be similar in frequency to a Luas service.