Details of the BusConnects plan:
At: http://www.busconnects.ie/ and an overview here:
Note: threads merged and original opening post edited with details from bk's post -- moderator
ORIGINAL POST BY LXFLYER:
I'm opening this thread ahead of the NTA announcement of the Dublin PSO Bus Network Review later this month.
The Minister for Transport gave some information on this in a D?il debate yesterday evening.
No doubt we shall learn more from the NTA in due course.
Consultants Jarrett Walker have already been appointed to carry out the network review by the NTA.
If the BE strike taught us anything it's we need to push ahead with the introduction of competition on Dublin Bus Routes.
Personally I think the following would be great improvements:
-A flat fare, cashless (think of how quickly the bus would get moving!)
-Introduce two more smartcard validators on busses so they can take more people at once
-Don't bother with a new Dublin Bus fare structure...time for zonal fare system for all Dublin transport use this as the chance to do it
-They need to reduce the number of bus stops some of them are way too close together
Mostly the things that many of us have long been waiting for, hopefully it won;t take long to implement them.
* simpler fare structures;
Hopefully flat fare or tag-on/tag-off to eliminate driver interaction and reduce dwell times.
* implementing a cashless payment system and a state-of-the-art ticketing system;
Hopefully eliminating cash completely and driver interaction. Moving to London Bus style contact less debit cards, smart phone and smart watch payments.
* implementing new bus branding;
DB branding to go away? I recently saw a bus with the full NTA branding, I think it was the 817, I have to say very ugly. Though I understand and support the concept.
* integrating bus vehicles of different operators and types;
This is new, I wonder what this is about?
* new bus stops and shelters;
Hopefully the NTA taking over control of all bus stops and shelters and thus allowing them to be shared by different operators and thus less street clutter (e.g. Westmoreland Street).
* and use of low emission vehicles.
Just more Euro 6 and will they start to actually look at Hybrids?
Disappointed to not see the following mentioned:
- 24/7 running on certain routes.
- Use of the fecking back doors.
- Replacing the crappy, horribly outdated and slow wayfarer ticket machines.
- Proper integrated ticketing between bus/luas/dart. Specially important now with Luas Cross City coming soon.
I think people might be best holding fire until we see the detail of the proposals - that was simply a Ministerial answer to a question.
Ultimately most of what the previous two posts want to see delivered is going to be dependent upon the Government finally providing enough funding for said proposals, which frankly has been the greatest stumbling block to any proper development of the bus network in Dublin.
I disagree on that. The concept of zonal fares is a completely outdated concept that is now completely unnecessary due to technology. A zone system wouldn't fix DB's problems, you would still have to interact with the driver to tell him how many zones you will be travelling! The current stage fare system is a form of zone based travel.
No, the solution is one of the following:
- London Bus style flat fares for all city bus journeys or
- Amsterdam style tag-on/tag-off system, linked to the buses GPS system, so you are charged precisely for the distance you travel and which could be fully integrated with Luas and DART tag-on/tag-off.
Yawn, the same old nonsense. Most of the above can be implemented without dipping into the tax payers pockets!
A tag-on/tag-off system could be implemented tomorrow without any change to the DB fare structure or even hardware. Just some programming on the wayfarer machines.
Likewise a flat fare could easily be designed in a revenue neutral manner with the data they have from Leap cards.
No need to get personal or indeed offensive. A little bit of respect for each other and some civility would go a long way - you as a moderator should be aware of that much. This is not After Hours.
You don't agree with me, and that is your prerogative, but frankly the reality that it hasn't happened yet tells me that the NTA view the situation differently. If it all cost nothing they would have implemented it ages ago.
Implementing a flat fare has farebox implications and also political implications - whether you like it or not those two meant that it was never going to be dealt with overnight, and certainly not when the Balance Sheet of the main operator remained in a perilous state. The politics of implementing a flat fare are massive (irrespective of whether it is a good idea or not, which it is) and that's something that will have to be done (I would expect) in phases.
It is very annoying as every single time this topic is brought up, you say exactly the same thing, with no logic to back it up!
You have never explained why an Amsterdam style tag-on/tag-off style system can't be implemented with exactly the same fare structure as DB has today and the same hardware.
Nor have you not explained why if they decided to go with a flat fare, that based on the Leap card data, they couldn't model a revenue neutral flat fare. It would be the simplest task for any accountant to model it.
Always the same old excuse, make the tax payer give us more money!
Which is the equivalent of attempting to programme on a stone tablet
It is, but it would also be a big simplification from the current situation.
At the moment the machines and thus the software have to support who large range of cash fares, plus an equally long list of leap fares, plus the logic for applying automated top-ups.
Eliminating cash fare completely would greatly simplify it and implementing tag-on/tag-off would also completely eliminate the leap fares and would only be slightly more complicated then the existing right hand side tag-on.
It would look like this:
- Tag-on: Deduct the max fare (adult or child depending on card type) and mark the tag-on location on the card.
- If the user tags-off later, check the tag-on location, compare to the current location, refund difference if necessary.
Actually all pretty straight forward and pretty much the same way Luas works.
Of course if you go flat fare, the above isn't necessary and it becomes super simple. You get rid of all cash and leap fare options and just adjust the tag-on fare from the current max fare to the new flat fare. Literally couldn't be simpler.
With respect you disagree with me. That much I can deal with.
But basically belittling me and my view as "yawn - the same old nonsense" is something I am not prepared to put up with. I couldn't care less if you're annoyed - just at least be civil. I'm as much entitled to express my view as you are yours, without being insulted. And that's precisely what you continue to do.
I don't think tag on/tag off on buses while there is still a massive number of single door buses in place is even remotely a good idea. It would make things even slower.
Again implementing a flat fare would be something that has political implications, whether you like it or not, as it will mean higher fares for a substantial number of people. That isn't going to be easy to sell.
Establishing a revenue neutral flat fare would involve an element of risk, in terms of losing customers, and unfortunately the State as such is exceptionally risk averse - we are not dealing with normal commercial enterprises here. There was no way that the NTA were going to take the risk of establishing a flat fare during the period when the Dublin Bus balance sheet was as bad as it was - it's still far from what I would term healthy. The NTA said as much several times in their annual fare determinations - any changes to the fare structure would be over a phased basis. That alone should inform you of the way that the State thinks.
And that is even before you come to deal with political opposition which can be very vocal - you only have to look at the Dun Laoghaire network review which had to be watered down significantly due to local political opposition in Sallynoggin.
The bottom line, is that things involving the public sector and particularly politicians don't change overnight in this country and if you expect them to, you're likely to be disappointed.
One look at how long it took DB to get a chance to even try to do anything like Network Direct, or indeed the ongoing shenanigans with city centre traffic should tell you everything that you need to know.
For your information, I share your frustration about the glacially slow process of change. But I think I've been around a bit longer than you have and have learnt that anything involving public sector money in this country is not going to happen with any great speed.
I'm not happy about that fact, but that's life. At the same time I don't go around insulting other people who have a different view.
lxflyer last week we hear that Ireland has the second most expensive public transport in Europe.
I wouldn't mind that if we had the second best public transport network in Europe. But the opposite is true, we probably have one of the worst public transport services in Europe and that simply isn't good enough.
It is simply nonsense that the most basic improvements in public transport that were common throughout the rest of Europe 40 or 50 years ago (multi-door buses, integrated ticketing, etc.) still can't be implemented here in Ireland in the 20th century.
That when anyone suggests even the most basic improvement that the come back is always the same old tired "it will cost more money" and we need to make the taxpayer pay more for it. All while have the second most expensive public transport system.
It is complete and utter nonsense. Just like the excuses from BE for years that there was no demand for a bus service between Cork and Dublin after 6pm our demand to use a more direct service between them. BE fans said much the same nonsense then, oh we need more money to implement such a service.
Well then we saw Aircoach come along and blow BE out of the water at no cost to the taxpayer. We say that these excuses were just excuses to try and wring more money out of the taxpayer.
The truth is taxpayers of Ireland are getting screwed. It is enough with the excuses and for the public transport providers to actually deliver a high quality public transport service to reflect the second most expensive public transport service in Europe.
I disagree, I believe tag-on/tag-off even on single door buses would still be much faster then the current model of driver interaction. tag-on at the right validator is really fast, tagging off in reverse would be no slower, you pass it anyway.
Driver interaction is so ridiculously slow it isn't even funny. The time it takes for the Leap screen to load and the driver to select the correct fare. No way tag-off is slower then that.
Also you could have it tag-on by the driver validator, tag-off at the right hand validator, so that people could potentially pass each other by in opposite direction.
Of course non of this would be an issue for dual door buses, of which there are now many.
Finally this objection has nothing to do with finances or fare-box as you initially claimed.
Ah, so now, that is different. You said that the issue was fare box and finances, which is what I called nonsense. So do you now admit that there would be no financial issue with introducing a flat fare, that a flat fare that was revenue neutral could be easily selected.
I will happily admit that there would likely be political interference. That you will have those who have to pay a little more whining as always , despite others paying less and overall everyone benefiting from a better service.
But you know what, we really need to start getting some politicians with a bit of back bone. Politicians willing to say that while a small few might be a little worse off, it is better for the majority of people and the right thing to do.
It is pretty annoying that we can't change anything in Ireland for the better in case it might slightly inconvenience others.
To be honest, I'm pretty fed up with here excuses, I want to hear how we fix this and make it better for everyone.
If you read back what I said - I said most things would require additional funding. I never said all.
I was referring to potentially extra validators as the other poster suggested, new ticketing machines (which clearly have been put on the back burner due to funding constraints - we were promised them in 2015-16), changing the fare structure to encompass a time based multi-modal fare basis, new bus stops, etc.
I have never made any comment about tag on/tag off being to do with funding - other than potentially requiring additional equipment - that's a technical issue. It's more a practical objection - I don't really see it happening being honest. I think it would cause too much trouble.
With regard to the flat fare I also stated that there were two elements militating against a flat fare introduction. You are again somewhat misrepresenting me.
One was political opposition, and the second was the fear within the NTA and DB of the risk losing farebox revenue as a result of the flat fare not generating the necessary revenue, and therefore requiring additional PSO funding to bridge the gap - I will stand over that statement. That risk was stated in black and white in an NTA fare determination - I don't need to defend that statement any more than that.
One could come up with a theoretical revenue neutral flat fare, but if in practice it was negative then the State would have to pick up the tab - that simply wasn't going to happen given the lack of State funds, and the precarious nature of the company's finances given that the NTA had inflicted other costs associated with LEAP implementation on it.
But hey, what do I know about any of this?
Clearly all I know is "excuses".
With respect I am not a decision maker in any of this - perhaps direct your frustration at the people who do make the decisions rather than me.