BUS services in Limerick City and its suburbs will increase by around 70 per cent as a result of a new bus network plan published by the National Transport Authority (NTA) this morning.
The Limerick bus network redesign report includes a proposal that 61 per cent of people in Limerick City will be located within 400 metres walk of a bus stop. There are currently only 53 per cent of the city’s population within that cohort.
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 24-hour service would operate between University Hospital Limerick, the city centre and the University of Limerick. Four proposed routes would operate at least every 15 minutes until 8pm, seven days a week.
The proposals will also result in more people having access to the public transport network with Ennis Road, Dock Road, University of Limerick north campus, Ardnacrusha and Raheen Industrial Estate having new all-day routes.
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.
All routes in the new network would serve the city centre to facilitate cross-city commuting with the main point of interchange located at O’Connell Street, William Street and Roches Street.
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 network report was 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 will run for six weeks. Public information events will take place from 12noon to 7pm from Tuesday, March 7 to Thursday, March 9 and there will also be an online consultation process.
The redesign will be finalised in the coming months and the new network will be rolled out from 2025.
NTA chief executive Anne Graham said that the redesign of the bus network, one of the key pillars of BusConnects Limerick, will ensure a more sustainable and inclusive public transport network that provides a viable alternative to the car.
“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,”she added.
Bus Éireann chief executive Stephen Kent said that change was 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 the Colbert transport hub.
“While the impact of current works in the city is challenging, the long-term benefit to the reliability and punctuality of services by reducing congestion 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 per cent within a year.
An enlarged map of the draft new bus network for Limerick can be viewed here
To take part in the consultation process click here