Public consultation starts on €650 million fast bus routes

New Swords to Dublin city centre line will be ‘38 per cent’ faster than current journey

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

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

 

Public consultation on proposals for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network for Dublin begins today.

Full project details on the “Swiftway” network are available now on the National Transport Authority’s website nationaltransport.ie. Members of the public are invited to review the proposals and submit their suggestions before 5pm on March 18th.

Three BRT routes are proposed by the authority to provide high-capacity and fast services from outlying suburbs to, and through, the city centre.

Indicative costs for the three routes suggest they could be developed for under €650 million, with a Swords/Dublin Airport to city centre line and a Blanchardstown to UCD route costing €150 million to €200 million each, and a line from Clongriffin to Tallaght estimated at €200 million to €250 million.

All three routes could be introduced for a fraction of the almost €4 million estimated for Metro North, and significantly less than a light rail Luas line.

“BRT seeks to emulate the performance and amenity characteristics of a modern rail-based transit system, but at a much lower cost – about one-third of a light rail system,” the authority said.

While not quite matching the speeds of an underground rail line, the BRT proposal has features which are similar to a tram line. Tickets would be bought from from vending machines at the stops, or passengers could use the integrated ticketing Leap card, but would not buy tickets from the driver.

The vehicles would have multiple doors at stop platform level to increase boarding speed and the line would have a similar number of stops to a Luas line,

The 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. The 18-metre long Swiftway vehicles would have single decks, but could carry 125 passengers, compared to 87 passengers on a double-decker Dublin Bus.

The Swords route is the most advanced in terms of planning. The authority estimates that, at about 35 minutes, the journey to the city centre would be 38 per cent quicker than current bus times, and would also compare favourably with an average car travel time of 50 minutes.

The authority intends to lodge an application with An Bord Pleanála this year for the Swords route, with an application for the Blanchardstown and Tallaght lines due to be submitted next year.