Pictured at the BusConnects Limerick launch are Stephen Kent CEO Bus Eireann, Brian Kennedy limerick County & City Council, Robert O’ Mahony Bus Eireann and Anne Graham CEO NTA. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22
BusConnects Limerick plans added service levels which will be enabled by an enhanced Sunday timetable and a new 24-hour route
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has today published its draft new bus network for Limerick. The redesign of the bus network is one of the nine key elements of BusConnects Limerick that aims to transform the city’s bus system, making public transport more useful to more people.
Under the proposals within the Limerick bus network redesign report, the level of bus services in Limerick city and its suburbs will increase by approximately 70%. 61% of people in Limerick city would be located within 400 metres walk of a bus stop, up from 53%.
The added service levels will be enabled by the extension of bus services to new areas, more routes with frequent services, an enhanced Sunday timetable and a new 24-hour route.
The new 24-hour bus service would operate between University Hospital Limerick, the city centre and the University of Limerick. Four proposed routes would operate every 15 minutes or better until 8pm, seven days a week.
The proposals will also result in more residents of the city and its suburbs having access to the public transport network with Ennis Road, Dock Road, University of Limerick north campus, Ardnacrusha and Raheen Industrial Estate, those areas with new all-day routes.
All routes in the draft new bus network would serve the city centre with the main point of interchange located at O’Connell Street, William Street and Roches Street. This will facilitate cross-city commuting.
Fares will be simplified in a way that will make interchange seamless. Customers will not have to pay extra to change between bus services within that 90-minute period.
The new network report being unveiled today has been prepared by Jarrett Walker & Associates, a US based firm which specialises in designing metropolitan public transport systems, in collaboration with the NTA, Limerick City and County Council, Clare County Council and Bus Éireann.
Consultation on the draft new network launched today will run for 6 weeks. Public information events will take place from 12pm – 7pm from Tuesday, 7th – Thursday, 9th March (inclusive) while an online consultation process will allow members of the public to provide their feedback on the proposals. The redesign will be finalised in the coming months and the new network will be rolled out from 2025.
Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, said: “As the third largest city in the State, Limerick is the economic engine of the Mid-West and has an exciting future ahead. Public transport can play a pivotal role in transforming the city.
“Through BusConnects Limerick, we want to make it easier for people to get around by reducing congestion, and to make this place more attractive for people who live here, work here, or who want to visit here.
“The redesign of the bus network, one of the key pillars of BusConnects Limerick, will ensure we move towards a more sustainable and inclusive public transport network that provides a viable alternative to the car.
“The proposed network unveiled by the NTA in conjunction with Limerick City and County Council, Clare County Council and Bus Éireann will revolutionise the bus system in Limerick city. It will see a significant increase in bus services across the city and surrounding areas as well as creating new connections to schools, jobs, public services and other amenities.
“I would encourage commuters and residents in Limerick to engage in the online consultation process and to share their views. The feedback will help us to finalise a much-improved bus network that meets the needs of a growing city.”
Stephen Kent, CEO of the Bus Éireann, said: “Bus Éireann is proud to deliver 4.4 million passenger journeys in Limerick city every year, and excited about the step change that BusConnects Limerick represents. Change is already underway with National Transport Authority investment seeing Limerick switching to a fully electric and hybrid fleet by the end of this year, a revamped depot and new bus station at Colbert improving customer experience.
“While the impact of current works in the city is challenging, the long-term benefit to the city and to the reliability and punctuality of services by reducing congestion, our major operational challenge, will be substantial. Our experience is that when investment is made into increasing frequency and expanding bus services, passenger numbers grow markedly and rapidly, often by up to 70% within a year.
“BusConnects Limerick is the key to a more sustainable future and better quality of life, and we encourage everyone to inform themselves and make their views known through the consultation process.”
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The map of the draft new bus network for Limerick can be viewed here
To take part in the consultation process, visit here