21 June 2022
By Mary Bermingham
Visit https://busconnects.ie/cork/ to see the new map
The National Transport Authority (NTA) has launched its new design for the Cork Metropolitan Bus Network. The new network, part of BusConnects Cork, is intended to transform the public transport network across the Cork Metropolitan Area. The new network will involve the creation of new bus routes and improved bus frequencies to help transform the public transport network to meet anticipated growth and future demand in the region.
The key benefits of the new network include:
An overall increase of 53% in bus services in Cork;
Two 24-hour bus services –
- Route 1 running east-west: Ovens/Ballincollig to City Centre to Mahon;
- Route 3A running north-south: Carrigaline to City Centre to Hollyhill;
Seven all-day high frequency bus routes (services running every 15 minutes or better) more during peak periods;
Provision of bus services to previously unserved areas such as Upper Glanmire, Waterfall, Kerry Pike;
Shorter waits and more direct routes for many people;
A simpler network and schedules; and
Additional services at weekends.
During 2021 the NTA carried out an extensive process of public consultation and review, in collaboration with Cork City Council and Bus Éireann, and with the specialised expertise of transport designers Jarrett Walker and Associates. In November 2021, a draft new network was published and the feedback and submissions have informed the Final New Bus Network.
The new bus network will enable more people to avail of public transport resulting in increased access to a greater number of schools and workplaces across the Cork Metropolitan Area. Overall, the number of people within 400 metres of a high frequency bus route (running every 15 minutes or better) will increase by 39% and the number of jobs located within 400 meres of a high frequency bus route will increase by 19%.
The New Cork Bus Network will be delivered on a phased approach during 2023 and 2024. It will be supported by a comprehensive public information campaign for bus users as the services are implemented.
Minister for Transport, Mr. Eamon Ryan T.D., remarked “The Cork Bus Network Redesign signals an important milestone in the Government’s ambition to enable greater numbers of people to avail of the public bus network in the region. This will help to transform the existing bus network in the Cork Metropolitan Area into a more, efficient, sustainable one to meet current and future needs in the area. The expansion of the system into the night hours will also greatly benefit Cork’s Night Time Economy”.
Anne Graham, Chief Executive Officer of NTA said: “Revising the bus network was a key component of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, (CMATS), published in 2020, and today’s announcement represents a major milestone in the implementation of that Strategy.
“This revised network which includes enhanced frequency, new routes, and longer operating hours, means that by offering greater connectivity, bus services in Cork are set to become more useful to more people.
“This will put is firmly on track to meet the CMATS ambition of increasing the number of people using public transport in Cork fourfold by 2040.”
Stephen Kent, Chief Executive Officer of Bus Éireann commented: “Bus Éireann carries 14 million passengers in Cork city every year and employs nearly 600 people. We have been very glad to collaborate with the NTA to develop the proposed sustainable transport corridor network based on our extensive knowledge of the city. This network will support Cork’s development and growth over future decades, as well as promoting the necessary shift to public transport to meet Ireland’s climate change commitments. We have seen investment in Cork routes deliver passenger growth of 70% within just a year, so we know that improving the reliability of our services by facilitating bus prioritisation will result in greater use, bringing social, economic and environmental benefits.”
There are three key features to high quality public transport – Price, frequency and reliability
“This is a re-writing of the rule book for public transport in Cork. It’s not just an increase in the frequency of services. The addition of places like Kilcully and Upper Glanmire are major wins for communities living there. The extension of the current 208 Bus Route to Glanmire will be a huge asset for the area.” That’s according to Green City Cllr Oliver Moran.
He continued “There still needs to be communication with residents in Ballyvolane about the 207 being replaced with a new service through Blackpool. That will be a major change for residents there in an area that is marked for rapid growth. Public transport costs have been cut by between 20-50% for everyone by the Green Party in government. The announcement today improves the frequency of services and the areas that are being served. Next, there will need to be a focus on reliability by putting in place priority measures along 12 corridors in the city. Those corridors have been identified. Over the next six months, we will need public conversation on the measures needed along these routes to make sure buses can arrive on time and are an option for everyone.”