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Does Dublin Need a New Central Bus Station?

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 154 ✭✭ MyLove4Satan


    I use Busaras a lot and the congestion in the station and around it demonstrates it is not suited to modern needs. It is also a very unsavory place to be late at night for passengers and staff.

    Are their plans/aspirations for a new central bus station all operators can use and not just BE and Translink? If so where might it be built? Personally I can't think of any location (adequate site) other than Busaras and yet the place is not suited anymore.


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Comments

  • #2


    Connolly Station car park would have been an ideal location. There are supposed to be Apartments going over it now, but a bus station underneath the apartment building at ground floor would have been fine. Probably too late now.

    Maybe Docklands station eventually, depending on what happens with DART+ and DART Underground, there is already a Bus and Coach park there at the moment for tour buses, etc.


  • #2


    bk wrote: »
    Connolly Station car park would have been an ideal location. There are supposed to be Apartments going over it now, but a bus station underneath the apartment building at ground floor would have been fine. Probably too late now.

    Maybe Docklands station eventually, depending on what happens with DART+ and DART Underground, there is already a Bus and Coach park there at the moment for tour buses, etc.

    That docklands bus park would be ideal with the luas , dart and possible sligo trains all near by. An if they wanted to they could use port tunnel for all bus eireann buses and keep them off the quays


  • #2


    Building a bus station somewhere else isn't going to decrease the amount of unsavoury characters frequenting it. Every bus station in every city in the world attracts these folks. Port Authority in NYC, Victoria in London etc.

    Moving station away from the current location adjacent to biggest Garda station in the city centre would likely make this issue worse actually.


  • #2


    I propose 3 Central Stations for the City.

    1. Keep Busáras, but make it the Commuter Services Terminus. Currently, buses that serve Leinster litter the quays and the road outside Connolly, it's messy and chaotic and cause delays to other operating bus services.
    2. A New Intercity Bus Temrinus. Busáras a Dó. Docklands makes the most sense, as it's easy to get to OCS and the city core on the Red line (as an aside, you shouldn't need a Luas ticket, just show that you're just off an intercity bus and you can use the Luas from the Point to Heuston)
    3. A Private Operators Station. Galway has this as well as its public bus station, makes sense to keep them all together and stop the same Quays Congestions.

    Alternatively, 3 Equal, Public and Private, COmmuter and Intercity Busárasanna.

    1. Current Busáras serves routes to the South
    2. Busáras a Dó at Docklands, for services to the North.
    3. Busáras a Trí at Heuston for services to the West.

    I know what you're saying, We should have just one station.
    but I think concentrating so much bus traffic around one area is a recipe for congestion, and besides you're unlikely to find a plot of land in the centre of Dublin big enough to meet the task


  • #2


    If the Rotunda Hospital was to vacate Parnell Square at some point enough room for a new central bus station might fit there.


  • #2


    If the Rotunda Hospital was to vacate Parnell Square at some point enough room for a new central bus station might fit there.

    The rotunda is planning to move at some point in the undefined future, but replacing it with a bus station would be an absolute tragedy, and condemn the area there to further decades of neglect. So much more could be done with that site.

    Your suggestion highlights the problem really. Any site that could be used for a central bus station would be more beneficial to the area as basically anything else. It's way the docklands is being promoted as a possibility, there's just not as much potential down these.

    Personally, in a dream world, I've have two stations, neither central. One at the Airport, one along the southern M50 someplace, (Tallaght or Sandyford, probably) from which people could get straight onto a Metro. With three minute frequencies, and a twenty minute journey to/from the city centre, I think that'd be better than what we have now. Could even do it with just the one at the Airport really. Have a free metro fare built into the price of the bus ticket.


  • #2


    Isn't Dublin Airport the new Busarus? Once they build the metro they can close Busarus and stop routing intercity services through the city centre


  • #2


    AngryLips wrote: »
    Isn't Dublin Airport the new Busarus? Once they build the metro they can close Busarus and stop routing intercity services through the city centre

    That sounds a lot worse to me for most inter city bus users. Except those on the metro line.


  • #2


    Building a bus station somewhere else isn't going to decrease the amount of unsavoury characters frequenting it. Every bus station in every city in the world attracts these folks. Port Authority in NYC, Victoria in London etc.

    Moving station away from the current location adjacent to biggest Garda station in the city centre would likely make this issue worse actually.

    On the other hand, moving it away from the Social Welfare offices in the same building could help greatly.

    Also a newly built building could focus on a design that tends not to be attractive to anti-social folk.

    The private coach station in Galway is testament to that. Airport like, very high ceilings, loads of glass, and an excellent layout make it very bright and open. Only one set of doors, with a long big open corridor/waiting area and glass on both sides, make it really easy for security staff to control entrance and keep an eye on the place, it feels safe.

    On the other hand Busaras, is dark, dirty and dingy. Underground toilets/lockers, weird corridors, loads of entrances, weird little waiting rooms, many buses picking up and letting off on the street, all lead to a built environment that feels unsafe and feels attractive to unsavoury types.
    fvp4 wrote: »
    That sounds a lot worse to me for most inter city bus users. Except those on the metro line.

    Yeah, the private coaches using the quays, while far from prefect are a great location for people using them.


  • #2


    I've noticed in most European cities I've been to have no real intercity bus station. Most the bus companies in Europe Flixbus and the like dump passengers on the kerbside. Focus for facilities is on rail and urban transport.


  • #2


    roadmaster wrote: »
    That docklands bus park would be ideal with the luas , dart and possible sligo trains all near by. An if they wanted to they could use port tunnel for all bus eireann buses and keep them off the quays

    Following this theme, I wonder if there is merit to closing both Connolly (except for Dart) and Busaras? Both are a bit past it and it may be as easy to just start again. Connolly is a particularly awkward arrangement at the moment (must be at least a 10min walk from the Dart platforms to the Luas platforms at Busaras) and we all know that the shed is the wrong side of the through line for Sligo services.

    With Dart Underground, Spencer Dock could have:
    1. very low level Dart platforms;
    2. just below surface level terminating platforms (probably just 6, 8 at a push) with access at North Wall quay and Sheriff Street (mid platform) and;
    3. the Luas red line directly above at surface level.
    Like the Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

    That bridge proposed to go over to Sir John Rogersons quay would improve accessibility in what is a very busy area. The existing Docklands station demonstrates that the area is as legitimate a destination as Connolly and that could be repurposed for stabling or potentially developed.

    You could start again basically and have a signature bus/train terminal for Dublin with trams and buses to the rest of the city and airport running conveniently past it.


  • #2


    There are a few of the unsavoury characters hanging around Heuston as well as Búsaras every day.

    Heuston is also going to be used as a terminus for the O route. The S2 & S4 are also getting launched with BusConnects for September 2022. These routes are going to become very frequent services from that point so how would you fit Bus Eireann routes to run their routes to the west from there?

    The 747 will be still be running services from Dublin Airport to Heuston if it was still in existence.

    If you were using Heuston as a terminus for bus services in Dublin to Kildare or to the West of Ireland; you need to have slots available for buses going to Galway, Sligo, Westport, Mullingar, Athlone, Newbridge etc. I would presume that you could place the Bus Eireann slots along the 145's rest area at Heuston along with the Airlink. However would there be enough room available for all of those coaches to be terminating at Heuston.

    Another thing is that a Dart+ station is being used at Heuston West under Dart+ South West.

    You could probably have an intercity bus station with bus bays being provided at Heuston West Dart station if there was a suitable amount of room and government funding available for that project over the next few years. But that is all dependent on what infrastructure is there at the moment. I know there is a big car park placed in between Heuston West & Heuston Station with a turning bay provided for the 90,145 & 747 for several years now. Would be there scope to do something with the area if there was any moves made on it because of Dart+ South West?


  • #2


    If you were using Heuston as a terminus for bus services

    No one is suggesting use Heuston train station as a new Busáras, we're suggesting building a new Bus Terminal in the Area.

    A prime location would be Conyngham Road Depot, as Dublin Bus are in the process of considering whether they should move some of their city-based depots to the suburbs


  • #2


    Anyone remember when they planned to flatten a large proportion of Temple Bar for a new Bus depot and central station back in the 1980s.?

    Much of the area was actually condemned for demolition and a large part of the reason it later developed into the bohemian type quarter it became.

    Thankfully that plan never happened...


  • #2


    donvito99 wrote: »
    With Dart Underground, Spencer Dock could have:
    1. very low level Dart platforms;
    2. just below surface level terminating platforms (probably just 6, 8 at a push) with access at North Wall quay and Sheriff Street (mid platform) and;
    3. the Luas red line directly above at surface level.
    Like the Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

    There isn't close to enough space to have that many tracks on approach plus accommodating the level changes for two platform levels below ground. Even the "just below surface level terminating platforms" would have a track level ~6m below ground and the very low level Dart platforms would be at least the same again deeper. The approach for the DART platforms would probably have to start descending around Newcomen Bridge and leave no space for approach tracks at a different level.

    You could retain the existing Docklands station for terminating trains and have DARTs go to a not so deep Spencer Dock station to the east but then there is little space for a bus station. This is probably what we'll end up with, with buses accommodated elsewhere (probably still Bus Áras and other locations).


  • #2


    There are a few of the unsavoury characters hanging around Heuston as well as Búsaras every day.

    While true, I’ll say that in fairness to IR they have done a great job of modernising it and making it feel safer.

    The very bright LED lights, much cleaner, new toilets, nice shops with all glass and just far more security and staff around all help making it feel less dodgy then busaras. Not perfect, but vastly improved.

    And yes, a lot of that just comes down to psychology and it maybe feeling safer, then reality. But that can be important for customers.


  • #2


    bk wrote: »
    While true, I’ll say that in fairness to IR they have done a great job of modernising it and making it feel safer.

    The very bright LED lights, much cleaner, new toilets, nice shops with all glass and just far more security and staff around all help making it feel less dodgy then busaras. Not perfect, but vastly improved.

    And yes, a lot of that just comes down to psychology and it maybe feeling safer, then reality. But that can be important for customers.

    The issues I've come across at train and bus stations generally tend to be in the vicinity rather than in the station itself. For example the Luas and bus stop outside Hueston is fairly dodgy.


  • #2


    No one is suggesting use Heuston train station as a new Busáras, we're suggesting building a new Bus Terminal in the Area.

    A prime location would be Conyngham Road Depot, as Dublin Bus are in the process of considering whether they should move some of their city-based depots to the suburbs

    Conyngham Road Depot would be excellent for this, tie in works with the Heuston West Dart Station development and you have a good 'Heuston Transit Complex' straddling the river, buses on one side, trains on the other and ready access to the Park, the DART, the Red line etc


  • #2


    Conyngham Road Depot would be excellent for this, tie in works with the Heuston West Dart Station development and you have a good 'Heuston Transit Complex' straddling the river, buses on one side, trains on the other and ready access to the Park, the DART, the Red line etc

    Theoretically they could also have a bridge linking the road down to platform 10 which the 145/747 uses to turn around to the new bus station - not sure if that would be needed though. Might be a handy way of routing intercity coaches to the n4 without clogging up chapelizod road/parkgate street.


  • #2


    I don't see the benefit in Conyngham Road Depot as a bus station over the Heuston site itself. It would take longer for buses to get there and passengers would be dropped further from most destinations. Rationalising the space usage at Heuston and seriously reduce parking (enough for staff needs only) would be a better option. Conyngham Road Depot is also a good redevelopment opportunity and would be worth a fair bit.

    MOLA architects did a masterplan for developing both Heuston and Conyngham Road Depot, obviously this is not at all realistic but is interesting nonetheless;

    https://www.mola.ie/portfolio/heuston/


  • #2


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    There isn't close to enough space to have that many tracks on approach plus accommodating the level changes for two platform levels below ground. Even the "just below surface level terminating platforms" would have a track level ~6m below ground and the very low level Dart platforms would be at least the same again deeper. The approach for the DART platforms would probably have to start descending around Newcomen Bridge and leave no space for approach tracks at a different level.

    You could retain the existing Docklands station for terminating trains and have DARTs go to a not so deep Spencer Dock station to the east but then there is little space for a bus station. This is probably what we'll end up with, with buses accommodated elsewhere (probably still Bus Áras and other locations).

    Well Irish Rail propose 6 terminating platforms at Spencer Dock as part of Dart+, albeit at street level, behind the red line rather than under and through to the North Wall quay end. With Dart Underground, the need to use those platforms as a turnback goes away.

    It is/was planned under DU to bring trains down from the elevation of the Northern line to an underground station complex, and there is scope to retain the current access to this area from the Kildare, Sligo and Northern lines, the latter would require some work.

    So you could have one fewer platform than Connolly, much improved access to the Red Line, DU (access best achieved on the Spencer Dock side of the red line) and potentially a new bus station as is suggested here on the existing Docklands station site - would require new ramps from Sheriff St Upper.


  • #2


    It's been said already but the airport is functioning quite well as a long distance hub.

    If Busaras worked as the local centre one, it would save alot of people going to Dublin City as a connection. I'm all for it. Already too many going into the city that want/need to be there.

    Perhaps put a roof on the bus stops there at the airport. The future Metro Station, along with local bus services would suit those cirty-bound.


  • #2


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    There isn't close to enough space to have that many tracks on approach plus accommodating the level changes for two platform levels below ground. Even the "just below surface level terminating platforms" would have a track level ~6m below ground and the very low level Dart platforms would be at least the same again deeper. The approach for the DART platforms would probably have to start descending around Newcomen Bridge and leave no space for approach tracks at a different level.

    You could retain the existing Docklands station for terminating trains and have DARTs go to a not so deep Spencer Dock station to the east but then there is little space for a bus station. This is probably what we'll end up with, with buses accommodated elsewhere (probably still Bus Áras and other locations).

    Yeah - no chance of getting six platforms in there - but 4 would fit easily enough.

    The level issue isn't as serious as you're making out - trains ran to North wall quay in the past. The rail bridge under Sherrif St. is still there and is marked as having 4.6m clearance.

    And according to this city elevation map - Major St at this point is 4ft lower than Sherrif St so you're really only talking about digging down another meter or two to be able to get the surface lines under Major St.

    Have to say I'm a big fan of the idea. It would provide extremely flexible terminus options - any of northern line, midlands, western lines could be easily connected and it would represent an attractive alternative to Connolly compared to the existing Docklands station. It would offer perfect integration with the Luas and DU if it's ever built. And if DCC ever resurrect the pedestrian bridge project it would provide some coverage for the South Docks also. Four platforms would allow 30 trains an hour easily without any issues - with ML interchange at Glasnevin it would provide 5 minute link from the docklands to metro.

    I think it could almost be cost neutral for IR as removing the Docklands station would free up a huge block that could be sold to developers.

    There was talk of this option being looked at as far as I know but not sure where that went? It would be far cheaper, less disruptive and in my opinion superior to spending the hundreds of millions they were proposing for a complete rebuild of Connolly.


  • #2


    gjim wrote: »
    Yeah - no chance of getting six platforms in there - but 4 would fit easily enough.

    The level issue isn't as serious as you're making out - trains ran to North wall quay in the past. The rail bridge under Sherrif St. is still there and is marked as having 4.6m clearance.

    And according to this city elevation map - Major St at this point is 4ft lower than Sherrif St so you're really only talking about digging down another meter or two to be able to get the surface lines under Major St.

    The suggestion was for two platform levels at Spencer Dock, "very low level Dart platforms" and "just below surface level terminating platforms". Two platform levels would require four tracks at two different levels (in and out for both very low level and just below surface level) which there isn't space for. Getting a suitable gradient for the very low level would go right back along the canal

    Getting under Sherrif St and having multiple platforms at the same level at Spencer Dock would work, that's essentially one of the options IÉ are considering. As long as it doesn't impact DU later, it would be a great idea.


  • #2


    It's been said already but the airport is functioning quite well as a long distance hub.

    It is good and should certainly be improved, with a proper station building, etc. but it really isn't a replacement for a city center bus station.

    Take some one living in the south of Dublin wanting to get a coach to Cork. It really wouldn't make sense for them to traipse all the way out to the airport to get a coach to Cork. They would be much faster getting a coach from the city center, as would most people.


  • #2


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    Two platform levels would require four tracks at two different levels (in and out for both very low level and just below surface level) which there isn't space for. Getting a suitable gradient for the very low level would go right back along the canal

    The original DU plan suggested that trains could get into a subterranean Spencer Dock station from the northern line which is obviously considerably higher than trains coming from along the canal. [Although it would make more sense for trains using the tunnel to come that way as presumably the Maynooth and Kildare lines will be at 25kv and the existing line at 1500v.]

    6034073

    There is room to the west of the curve coming down from the northern line to provide for trains running into the tunnel and also trains terminating at Spencer Dock.

    6034073


  • #2


    donvito99 wrote: »
    The original DU plan suggested that trains could get into a subterranean Spencer Dock station from the northern line which is obviously considerably higher than trains coming from along the canal. [Although it would make more sense for trains using the tunnel to come that way as presumably the Maynooth and Kildare lines will be at 25kv and the existing line at 1500v.]

    6034073

    There is room to the west of the curve coming down from the northern line to provide for trains running into the tunnel and also trains terminating at Spencer Dock.

    6034073

    Yes but I didn't say one below ground level wouldn't work, I was saying two below ground levels won't work.


  • #2


    Why didnt they build it at Hawkins , apollo and college house ?


  • #2


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    The suggestion was for two platform levels at Spencer Dock, "very low level Dart platforms" and "just below surface level terminating platforms". Two platform levels would require four tracks at two different levels (in and out for both very low level and just below surface level) which there isn't space for. Getting a suitable gradient for the very low level would go right back along the canal

    Getting under Sherrif St and having multiple platforms at the same level at Spencer Dock would work, that's essentially one of the options IÉ are considering. As long as it doesn't impact DU later, it would be a great idea.
    I agree that building two very low level platforms shouldn't be done now - but if something like this is going to happen then some DU elements will have to be included if only to build a big empty concrete box under the surface platforms and a ramp into the box from the north.

    I disagree with the idea of keeping the existing Docklands station. Closing it frees up a huge block of development land - you could fit nearly two Connolly Quarters on the site that the Docklands currently occupies - it would transform the area. And it would provide funding for IR.

    I also think it's important that there be at least 4 surface (just below street level) platforms so that the potential for decent throughput is there. And also that the platforms serve not just the midlands line but also the northern and western lines and that the track work allows flexible movements.

    I'd prefer that the surface platforms extended under Mayor St - I don't think there would be too much challenge having looked at the street elevations - but this isn't so important as the other two points. If it were too expensive/tricky, then yeah just end the platforms at Mayor st.


  • #2


    gjim wrote: »
    I agree that building two very low level platforms shouldn't be done now - but if something like this is going to happen then some DU elements will have to be included if only to build a big empty concrete box under the surface platforms and a ramp into the box from the north.

    I disagree with the idea of keeping the existing Docklands station. Closing it frees up a huge block of development land - you could fit nearly two Connolly Quarters on the site that the Docklands currently occupies - it would transform the area. And it would provide funding for IR.

    I also think it's important that there be at least 4 surface (just below street level) platforms so that the potential for decent throughput is there. And also that the platforms serve not just the midlands line but also the northern and western lines and that the track work allows flexible movements.

    I'd prefer that the surface platforms extended under Mayor St - I don't think there would be too much challenge having looked at the street elevations - but this isn't so important as the other two points. If it were too expensive/tricky, then yeah just end the platforms at Mayor st.

    Again, the issue isn't digging a deep hole in the ground at the station location, its getting tracks down to the platform level at a suitable gradient. If have terminating platforms at an upper level (but still 5m+ below the level of Sheriff Street/Mayor Street), another platform level below that would be very deep and would require a very long descent down to that level.

    If you have four tracks running under Sherrif St to the upper platform level and connecting to the three lines north of Docklands, there wouldn't be much space for further tracks alongside them once curves, points, etc. are considered. Add in the fact that you have to get these further tracks much deeper, and therefore commencing their descent much further north, you quickly run out of space.


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