Bus Connects – thinking ahead


Sir, – The editorial “Bus Connects – thinking ahead” (October 23rd) perhaps unwittingly summed up the problem or at least part of the problem.

Your reference to it being a National Transport Authority (NTA) proposal neatly sums up the dilemma facing transport in Dublin.

The NTA has no representative of the people of Dublin on the authority. It is not answerable in any way to the people of Dublin. It is a creature of Government decision-making avoidance rather than an inclusive, innovative public body advancing the needs of the area.

What Dublin needs is not “Bus Connects” as proposed but a “Transport Connects” that will bring into one authority all of the (at least 65) statutory bodies that have an input to traffic planning and delivery in our county.

The decision of the Government to avoid delivering on this through their avoidance of a decision on a directly elected mayor for Dublin is a sad day for Dublin and for Ireland and will mean that there will be many more plans but very few will ever be implemented. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 4.

Sir, – In designing the new Bus Connects plan for Dublin, Jarret Walker took as a starting assumption that “a network designed solely around senior/disabled preferences for minimum walk and interchange is simply too slow to be useful for the rest of the population” (“Bus Connects plan shows disregard for disabled and elderly, says McGrath”, News, October 22nd).

Empathy-driven innovation has shown that the best solutions come from listening deeply to the needs of the most challenging users. By designing around the constraints of these users, universal designs emerge which are inclusive and accessible to the widest number of people. Whose voices were listened to in the development of this plan?

The able “rest of the population” that Mr Walker is prioritising is in any case a misnomer. With a bit of luck, we will all some day be senior users. Any one of us may acquire a disability or the care of someone with a disability. Users with more challenging needs are the very part of the population that rely most acutely on public transport for an independent life. A bus system designed for people who get up early in the morning may be efficient by some measures – the wider costs of social isolation for other users will be high. – Yours, etc,


JE Cairnes

School of Business

and Economics,

NUI Galway.