Evaluation of the current bus system in Dublin- Identifying weaknesses and comparing to latest bus network proposal, Bus Connects

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Baez, Barbara Irene Palleros
Issue Date
MA of Business Administration
Dublin Business School
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Public transportation design and characteristics need to be adapted to suit the needs of those it is intended for, residents and visitors. As a city’s population grows the system requires revision and updates so that the increased volumes of travellers are catered for and any new developed areas, created through dispersed city growth, can have adequate access to the public transport system. Dublin’s experienced urban sprawl has generated the need for stretching the bus services that currently travel in a radial manner intersecting at the city centre where the highest level of commercial and employment activities occurs. The National Transport Authority has issued a proposal for a bus network redesign under the name of Bus Connects that aims at improving journey times, frequency and reliability of the service provided, among others. This study identifies the current bus service weaknesses from the users’ perspective through a quantitative primary research. It then assesses the characteristics proposed in Bus Connects in accordance with those identified current system issues, to understand if the main presently unsatisfied needs would be considered into the new system. The findings show that one of the main issues raised by bus travellers in Dublin is the normal operating hours with 37.9% and 42% of responses suggesting extended services hours should be adopted on weekdays and weekends respectively, however this measure is not included into the Bus Connects proposal. Other raised issues, including connectivity of outer neighbourhoods, frequency of services and integrated fare structure to include various modes of transportation in one fare, are considered and improved in the Bus Connects proposal. The satisfaction level towards the mobile applications available for bus services is also evaluated and its relevance towards the satisfaction with the overall system is analysed, finding a positive correlation between them and an identified need for Real Time Information improvement. Additionally, the relevance of convenient bus accessibility when looking for housing location options is assessed, to interpret the effect that the current bus system weaknesses may have in a city that is going through a housing shortage crisis.