Swords to benefit from a new express service

by Sylvia Pownall

AN EXPRESS service from Swords to the city centre is one of three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes being introduced in a bid to reduce congestion.
An ambitious €1bn ‘BusConnects’ scheme unveiled last week includes provision for a network of faster routes with the first piloted from Swords to the city, Blanchardstown to UCD and Clongriffin to Tallaght.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) plans to redesign the city’s bus system with continuous bus corridors and cashless fare payments.
In addition to the three BRTs, there are also plans for 11 radial bus routes (crossing the city) and three orbital bus corridors which will avoid city centre congestion altogether.
Construction of the new bus corridors is due to commence in late 2019 but no completion date has been set and the entire system has yet to get planning permission.
The BRT system will use multi-door vehicles, higher platforms for level boarding and fewer stops, meaning they can cater for more passengers with fewer pick-up delays.
The ticketing system will use credit and debit cards or mobile phones to link with payment accounts – moving to a cashless “tag-on tag-off system”.
NTA chief executive officer Anne Graham said the BRT was designed to provide extra passenger capacity on busier routes and Swords, with a population in excess of 60,000 people, was an obvious choice.
She added: “One of the delays in movement of buses is boarding and paying your fare. Without changing the fare structure, we’re moving to a cashless trial and investing in new ticketing systems.
“Fares will be made simpler and the financial penalty of taking a second bus will be removed. We will consider a single-fare structure.
“We’re more likely to move to a tag-on and tag-off arrangement and this will remove the current major delay at bus stops where a high proportion of passengers have to interact with the driver, even when paying by Leap Card.”

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