New “enhanced” bus services to begin this weekend in Dublin
The new network will be "high frequency" with buses every four to eight minutes, says the Transport Minister.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) and Dublin Bus have launched the first phase of the new BusConnects network for Dublin.
This phase includes routes connecting Dublin’s north-east to the city centre and will cover the areas of Howth, Baldoyle, Donaghmede, Raheny, Malahide, Portmarnock and Howth.
According to the NTA, BusConnects Dublin aims to deliver "an enhanced bus system that is better for the city, its people and the environment."
It said the programme includes a suite of changes to the bus system, intended to make it more efficient, faster, reliable and easier to use.
The overall objective of the new network will be a significant increase in capacity and frequency for customers, as well as more evening and weekend services for all spines.
The "H spine" branches are the primary driver of the new "high frequency" network delivering bus services "every four to eight minutes", Transport Minister Eamon Ryan told Newstalk Breakfast.
He also said: “This is a milestone for the BusConnects project, which will make Dublin a cleaner greener and more liveable city.
"By increasing services and frequency Dublin Bus and the NTA are making it easier for everyone to choose public transport to get to school, work or other locations.
“In this first phase, the people of Portmarnock, Malahide and Howth will enjoy better services than ever starting from next Sunday.
"The extra services at off-peak times and on the weekends will also make it easier to enjoy a day at the beach, a walk on the pier, or a bite to eat during the outdoor summer.”
The routes commence service from Sunday, 27 June and will take over some of the current buses in operation, namely the 29a, 31, 31a, 31b and 32.
As part of the new arrangements:
- the 29a will become the H1 (Baldoyle-Donaghmede-City Centre)
- the 32 will become the H2 (Malahide-Bayside-City Centre)
- the 31/31a/31b will become the H3 (Howth-Bayside-City Centre) and 6 (Howth-Strand Road-Watermill Road-City Centre)
To enable this, the terminus for route 130 will be moved from Lower Abbey Street to Talbot Street.
This is the first phase in the implementation of the new BusConnects network and follows on from three rounds of public consultation which concluded in 2020.
The remaining phases of the network will be rolled out over an incremental basis in the coming years with the south-east C spine along the Lucan Road corridor due to be launched in autumn 2021.
Ryan has said the government is "looking to improve our bus services right across the country, particularly in the cities" in order to "give people alternatives" in regards to transport options.