A new bus rapid transit system described as a Luas on wheels is proposed for Blanchardstown to UCD, one of three routes in Fingal costing up to €650 million.
Swiftway is the proposed rapid bus system recently announced by the National Transport Authority, which would have the capacity to carry between 2,400 and 3,600 passengers per hour.
The cost of the Blanchardstown route is estimated to be €150-200m, a third of the cost of the light rail line and less than one tenth of the estimated cost of Metro North or Metro West.
The two other routes proposed for Fingal are from Swords to Dublin Airport to the city centre and from Clongriffin to Tallaght.
Welcoming the proposal the Mayor of Fingal, Kieran Dennison (FG) said: “The scheme will go on public display at local council offices from February 17 and I expect it will be submitted to An Bord Pleanala for approval at the start of 2015.
“If funding is available it could be operational by 2019.
“I very much welcome the scheme but my main concern is that it will be run by Dublin Bus which has not proven to be a very efficient or dependable operator of a transport system.
“It is categorised between conventional bus and light rail.
“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,” he said.
The proposed route will start at Beechfield in Castaheany, run along the Ongar Road and up the Blanchardstown Road South to the centre whence it will travel along the existing 39 bus to quays, crossing from there into the Liberties, Christchurch, George’s Street, Aungier Street, St Stephen’s Green, Leeson Street and down the N11 to UCD.
Dublin West’s Green Party representative Roderic O’Gorman also welcomed the proposal but suggested that any surplus buses should be used to increase services on the 39 route through Blanchardstown village.
“If such a service was introduced, it would probably reduce the need for the ‘normal’ double decker buses on the existing 39A route.
“I would strongly support that some of these buses would be redeployed onto the current 39 route.
“The creation of a BRT route along the 39A could also have the benefit of allowing more regular services on the 39 route,” O’Gorman said.