Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign

Jarrett Walker + Associates (JWA) led the complete redesign of the bus network in and around Dublin, Ireland as part of the National Transport Authority’s (NTA) BusConnects project in 2017 and 2018.

The purpose of the network redesign was to increase bus ridership in the Dublin Metropolitan Area, which encompasses over 1.4 million people over several counties. After a comprehensive analysis of the existing network, JWA proposed four main strategies to make the service more useful to a greater number of people:

  • Organize most radial services into super-frequent spines
  • Redistribute service to create frequent orbital (cross-town) routes
  • Increase frequency in outer areas by using feeders into suburban centers.
  • Define a high-frequency service brand

Initial stakeholder and public outreach, carried out in the spring of 2017, showed overwhelming support for these strategies, particularly for the spines and frequent orbitals. Over 12,000 responses to an online survey were gathered within one month.

JWA facilitated a network design retreat with representatives from the NTA, Dublin Bus and the five local government authorities (Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, South Dublin and Kildare). This retreat and subsequent workshops brought the strategies to life as a complete proposal for a redesigned network.

The initial network proposal was released for public consultation in summer 2018. Over three months of consultation, NTA received approximately 50,000 individual comments and survey submissions. JWA assisted NTA in reviewing and organizing comments, reviewing improved peak loading data, and updating the network proposal in response to public input.

The revised proposal was released for public comment in October 2019; the proposed network included over 4.6 million annual revenue hours. The NTA is implementing the new network in stages, starting in 2021.