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25-03-2021, 16:18   #2821
riddlinrussell
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The problem is not that junction per se, but rather the whole section from Kelly's Corner back to Leonard's Corner in the morning peak.

The traffic can back up the entire length of that section, and the bus lane only starts after Emor Street which is roughly halfway along that section. That means buses can take 15 minutes to cover that section. I've had to resort to getting off buses at the first stop on the SCR and walk to Camden Street and catch the departure or two departures ahead of mine at times which is ludicrous.

The road is simply not wide enough to accommodate an inbound bus lane there as there's an outbound one which is needed in the evening peak.

Add to that the bus lane being blocked by left turning traffic off the SCR at various junctions and traffic joining the SCR from side streets, and it's a mess.

Most of the traffic from the SCR continues around onto Charlotte Way and points east from there, which in turn means that most of it has then to cross the LUAS line at the Harcourt Street / Hatch Street junction leading to tailbacks at peak times where LUAS frequency is high.
Aye but I wasn't proposing a bus lane at all along there?
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25-03-2021, 16:27   #2822
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Aye but I wasn't proposing a bus lane at all along there?
Well you did say "buses will be able to sail along the route".

Leonard's Corner junction itself really isn't a major issue.

I am making the point that the actual SCR itself is the problem as it isn't wide enough at many locations. Widening it further would be difficult.

It is likely that the "O" will have the exact same problems that the 9, 16, 68/a and 122 have right now (well pre-Covid).
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25-03-2021, 16:33   #2823
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Well you did say "buses will be able to sail along the route".

Leonard's Corner junction itself really isn't a major issue.

I am making the point that the actual SCR itself is a problem as it isn't wide enough at many locations. And the "O" will have the same problems that the 9, 16, 68/a and 122 have right now.
I was proposing that bus gates + strategic lighting sequences could achieve something at least some of the way towards what full bus lanes would, if buses go first at junctions, and the queue allowed to build up at the next junction is timed correctly a bus could pass the priority light at Leonards corner, drive along an open lane of mixed traffic, sharing it only with cars from side roads, reach the next junction where 2 or 3 cars have built up waiting, move into the next bus priority light and be on its way as soon as the sequence changes.
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30-03-2021, 14:58   #2824
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Latest conventional wisdom from the NTA now points to waiting until lockdown is over to START introducing the revised network.
I myself would see lockdown as the ideal opportunity to roll it out in it's entirety. Never waste a crisis and all that. The rationale for this is a nebulous spiel about having to 'reintroduce people' to the new system when lockdown ends or something like that.

Painful to say the least.
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30-03-2021, 15:18   #2825
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Latest conventional wisdom from the NTA now points to waiting until lockdown is over to START introducing the revised network.
I myself would see lockdown as the ideal opportunity to roll it out in it's entirety. Never waste a crisis and all that. The rationale for this is a nebulous spiel about having to 'reintroduce people' to the new system when lockdown ends or something like that.

Painful to say the least.
Yup.

Heard the very same thing from an NTA higher up on a zoom call a few weeks back. My jaw dropped. When I probed further I was told that there's too much change going on as it is.


Absolutely mindboggling.
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30-03-2021, 15:41   #2826
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Latest conventional wisdom from the NTA now points to waiting until lockdown is over to START introducing the revised network.
I myself would see lockdown as the ideal opportunity to roll it out in it's entirety. Never waste a crisis and all that. The rationale for this is a nebulous spiel about having to 'reintroduce people' to the new system when lockdown ends or something like that.

Painful to say the least.
You clearly have no idea about how complicated this change is and in particular the work involved in coming up with new integrated schedules on the Spines.

Scheduling is a very specialised skill, and needless to say Dublin Bus do not have armies of schedulers available to roll this out. They are limited in number as it is so specialised. Covid is also not helping.

Coming up with the schedules is tricky enough, but it is the supporting rosters for the drivers and vehicles that is the really difficult part of the process, and in particular ensuring that they are in compliance with the EU Working Time directive.

Add to that the issue that the entire timetabling process, and the customer facing timetables are changing for Dublin Bus, to one of developing public stop specific timetables rather than one based simply on terminus departure times. The company's performance will be measured on the individual stop specific times, which complicates this even further.

All that information has to get uploaded into journey planners and Google Maps and there are not inconsequential lead times involved in that process.

Add to that the complication of trying to schedule even headways in both directions along the various spines. That's going to be very tricky to deliver in my view where the routes start at different locations, given that journey times can vary from one departure to the next quite randomly depending on traffic light sequencing etc.

Up until now, Dublin Bus have changed the stop-by-stop timetables on a rolling basis to match traffic levels, but the customer never really knew this as they were more or less internal times.

With the rollout of the new network the times at each stop will be fixed and will only be changing as part of a formal timetable change.

So what intermediate times would you roll out right now, and what do you when all of a sudden lockdown ends, and the traffic levels increase once again and totally new schedules (with full publicity at every stop) need to be rolled out due to the current times being too tight?

Incidentally the schedulers would have been busy working on special rosters to keep all of the drivers working during Covid, as the Saturday schedule requires less drivers than a normal weekday. Duties are being split up as I understand it.

Rolling out a new network is a massively complicated given the new layers of detail and the notion that you could roll out the entire network in such a short space of time as you think is possible is ludicrous.

That being said, the stops along the H Spine have now been rebranded and the public information panels redesigned.

Better to launch this when full Monday-Friday timetables are up and running again, rather than having a false launch and then have to redo it all a few weeks later.

This post by Peregrine in C & T outlines some of the complexity involved from what I understand is an internal NTA document.

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Last edited by LXFlyer; 30-03-2021 at 15:52.
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30-03-2021, 16:04   #2827
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Let's hold up there.

There's no need to jump at that poster for what they have stated.

Regardless of scheduling and the logistics behind what needs to be done it has been stated on numerous occasions that the reason behind the delay is because of "the issues the public would have with the changes during covid".

The problems behind the scenes are of no consequence to the general public in the grand scheme, they just want to get their bus.

The NTA can easily state that the logistics are too onerous to introduce the changes during covid rather than state that the public wouldn't be able for it. But they're not.
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30-03-2021, 16:18   #2828
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Let's hold up there.

There's no need to jump at that poster for what they have stated.

Regardless of scheduling and the logistics behind what needs to be done it has been stated on numerous occasions that the reason behind the delay is because of "the issues the public would have with the changes during covid".

The problems behind the scenes are of no consequence to the general public in the grand scheme, they just want to get their bus.

The NTA can easily state that the logistics are too onerous to introduce the changes during covid rather than state that the public wouldn't be able for it. But they're not.
Sorry, but quite frankly I was focussing on the notion, which that poster has made in several posts over some time, that it is very simple to deliver this, and that it could all be done in weeks.

It just really annoys me, as it is anything but.

As someone who has a very detailed understanding of what is involved (having had a long interest in timetables and scheduling), it's so irritating to see posts like that suggesting that could be done quickly.

It can't.

However, I suspect that there is also an element of H & S involved here too with what you are referring to from the NTA. With the rollout of a brand new network, publicity needs to be maximised and you are going to need reasonably large numbers of bodies on the ground at bus stops directing people to make this work, as past experience shows that huge numbers of people will not have a clue about this, no matter how much publicity online, in papers, onboard buses and at stops there is.

Being in Level 5, I very much doubt that is going to be remotelty an option.

Last edited by LXFlyer; 30-03-2021 at 16:23.
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30-03-2021, 16:31   #2829
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You clearly have no idea about how complicated this change is and in particular the work involved in coming up with new integrated schedules on the Spines.

Scheduling is a very specialised skill, and needless to say Dublin Bus do not have armies of schedulers available to roll this out. They are limited in number as it is so specialised. Covid is also not helping.

Coming up with the schedules is tricky enough, but it is the supporting rosters for the drivers and vehicles that is the really difficult part of the process, and in particular ensuring that they are in compliance with the EU Working Time directive.

Add to that the issue that the entire timetabling process, and the customer facing timetables are changing for Dublin Bus, to one of developing public stop specific timetables rather than one based simply on terminus departure times. The company's performance will be measured on the individual stop specific times, which complicates this even further.

All that information has to get uploaded into journey planners and Google Maps and there are not inconsequential lead times involved in that process.

Add to that the complication of trying to schedule even headways in both directions along the various spines. That's going to be very tricky to deliver in my view where the routes start at different locations, given that journey times can vary from one departure to the next quite randomly depending on traffic light sequencing etc.

Up until now, Dublin Bus have changed the stop-by-stop timetables on a rolling basis to match traffic levels, but the customer never really knew this as they were more or less internal times.

With the rollout of the new network the times at each stop will be fixed and will only be changing as part of a formal timetable change.

So what intermediate times would you roll out right now, and what do you when all of a sudden lockdown ends, and the traffic levels increase once again and totally new schedules (with full publicity at every stop) need to be rolled out due to the current times being too tight?

Incidentally the schedulers would have been busy working on special rosters to keep all of the drivers working during Covid, as the Saturday schedule requires less drivers than a normal weekday. Duties are being split up as I understand it.

Rolling out a new network is a massively complicated given the new layers of detail and the notion that you could roll out the entire network in such a short space of time as you think is possible is ludicrous.

That being said, the stops along the H Spine have now been rebranded and the public information panels redesigned.

Better to launch this when full Monday-Friday timetables are up and running again, rather than having a false launch and then have to redo it all a few weeks later.

This post by Peregrine in C & T outlines some of the complexity involved from what I understand is an internal NTA document.

None of this was mentioned as a particular difficulty during the pandemic as far as I am aware. I never claimed that it was a simple task, I claimed it was a task that could be easier done during the pandemic when there will be less public scrutiny if there are any hiccups. The same number of timetable changes will be required regardless if they are done now or in 2024. NTA are claiming the hold up is due to their perception of the public being unable to cope with it.
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30-03-2021, 16:37   #2830
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None of this was mentioned as a particular difficulty during the pandemic as far as I am aware. I never claimed that it was a simple task, I claimed it was a task that could be easier done during the pandemic when there will be less public scrutiny if there are any hiccups. The same number of timetable changes will be required regardless if they are done now or in 2024. NTA are claiming the hold up is due to their perception of the public being unable to cope with it.
Sorry, but you have posted that the network implementation could and should be done very quickly.

I am pointing out to you that it just simply cannot happen quickly due to the complexity involved in the work to deliver the service. It can take considerable time to get schedules drawn up with the supporting rosters, and to get them agreed with the driver unions.

I just didn't get the impression that you actually understood what is involved in this.

I also suspect that with schedulers presumably working from home and in all likelhihood covid absences from garages (one of the reasons for the reduced service levels), I very much doubt that this is any easier to deliver. If anything it is harder.

But as I suggested above, I suspect that the other issue is that you can't have people out on street to direct people to the right bus. And yes that is needed. The confusion during Network Direct was something else, despite posters, leaflets, newspaper ads etc., etc.

Despite the consultations and publicity about this, I will guarantee you that a sizeable number of people will not have a clue about it. Hence you need bodies on the ground to explain it.
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30-03-2021, 16:51   #2831
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Sorry, but you have posted that the network implementation could and should be done very quickly.

I am pointing out to you that it just simply cannot happen quickly due to the complexity involved in the work to deliver the service. It can take considerable time to get schedules drawn up with the supporting rosters, and to get them agreed with the driver unions.

I just didn't get the impression that you actually understood what is involved in this.

I also suspect that with schedulers presumably working from home and in all likelhihood covid absences from garages (one of the reasons for the reduced service levels), I very much doubt that this is any easier to deliver. If anything it is harder.

But as I suggested above, I suspect that the other issue is that you can't have people out on street to direct people to the right bus. And yes that is needed. The confusion during Network Direct was something else, despite posters, leaflets, newspaper ads etc., etc.

Despite the consultations and publicity about this, I will guarantee you that a sizeable number of people will not have a clue about it. Hence you need bodies on the ground to explain it.
We're 3 years since the launch of bus connects and the implementation of the revised network is now coming up on 2 years behind what was originally touted to be the start date of the new network (now to be phased in over 4 years). I don't expect it to be done quickly, merely stated it could and should be done quickly. Pointing out that it's a lot of work is fine and all but it's work that should be done by now, instead of sitting around saying it's a lot of work and not starting said work using far fetched excuses of public perception.

There is no real barriers as it stands to rolling out the H spine, it could be done next week if there were a will, even if the time table had to be changed post covid (will have to happen anyway).
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30-03-2021, 18:20   #2832
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We're 3 years since the launch of bus connects and the implementation of the revised network is now coming up on 2 years behind what was originally touted to be the start date of the new network (now to be phased in over 4 years). I don't expect it to be done quickly, merely stated it could and should be done quickly. Pointing out that it's a lot of work is fine and all but it's work that should be done by now, instead of sitting around saying it's a lot of work and not starting said work using far fetched excuses of public perception.

There is no real barriers as it stands to rolling out the H spine, it could be done next week if there were a will, even if the time table had to be changed post covid (will have to happen anyway).
Just to focus on the timeframes here, I think you need to stand back from this a bit, and perhaps realise that the NTA made serious basic mistakes in this process from the outset.

The original implementation schedule that the NTA published was bunkum, and anyone outside of the NTA with an understanding of the complexities involved in day-to-day operations would have known that. I certainly said it was nonsense at the time. But as with many things, the NTA found that out the hard way. So scrap that for a start.

Also, a lot of time was lost due to the nonsenical parameters set by the NTA in the original proposal, which they based on the responses to a very high level online survey which was massively overly-simplistic.

Then we had the original network proposal drawn up by Jarrett Walker which was based on these half-assed parameters from the NTA which involved an awful lot of people being forced to change to rail, LUAS or other buses to get to the city centre, rather than the direct service they had, and others having to walk further to get a bus. The fact that the trains, trams and buses were already full was ignored. But the NTA pushed ahead with it. It also cancelled a lot of community bus routes which many people rely on.

Much of that proposal ended up being overwhelmingly rejected by the responses to the consultation, and indeed the Taoiseach told Anne Graham to start the process again (and that is on the Dáil record).

It also didn't help that the first consultation was planned to be held during July and August when most people are on holidays. That was another mistake, which lead to the consultation period being extended significantly, but I would suggest that the number of responses to it, proved that it was the correct thing to do.

So, taking all of that into account, I would suggest that you need to look at this from the perspective that the orginal plan from July 2018 was effectively binned following that consultation, and rightly so.

I look it as that a brand new proposal was produced in October 2019, which was far more realistic. That went to consultation, and we finally got the revised network proposal in September 2020, based on the consultation in Autumn/Winter 2019, the production of which it would be fair to say was impacted by Covid.

I think that the NTA made several massive errors of judgement in the early part of this process and their communications during the first consultation was atrocious. The almost-complete lack of day-to-day operational transport experience in that organisation was telling in the early stages of the project and that unfortunately has had significant negative consequences.

We are now though at implementation stage, and it is clear finally that the NTA have realised that the idealistic timeframe they quoted orginally (one big change) was impossible.

If you look back at Network Direct, that was done over quite a few phases, and there were issues with many routes during those phases that required new driver bills and schedules to be drawn up. That took time to get right as it is complicated to do.

Implementing the H Spine in a week as you suggest isn't realistic. Sure they could renumber the individual routes. But this is about delivering a new bus service, and it is not just a renumbering exercise. The Spine concept focusses on is delivering even headways along the section of the route that the various spine routes share, both inbound and outbound. That requires completely new integrated timetables, and therefore driver and bus rosters to be drawn up.

More importantly, this project requires a completely new approach to scheduling from Dublin Bus. You may not be concerned about that, but unless the underlying processes that deliver the bus service are got right this whole exercise will collapse in a mess. It is important that they get that right.

I understand that they have been trialling stop specific timetables on the Howth Road routes (29a/31/31a/31b/32) since the winter, but with Covid lockdown levels changing and traffic levels dropping again, the running times underlying those schedules were way too generous. That meant buses having to wait at stops as they were early, something passengers were complaining about on social media.

Add to that, I believe that agreement has only recently been reached between DB and the unions on safe locations for buses to wait along routes if they are running early.

I don't think that people were sitting around doing nothing as you are implying, but developing new schedules couldn't begin to happen until the final network was decided upon by the NTA. Remember that the schedulers were also doing the normal day-to-day work as well. They are all operating company staff in the depots, and not employed by the NTA.

As I said above, you will need bodies on the ground to help people for this rollout. That's not realistic until level 5 restrictions are lifited. Never underestimate how many people find about the changes at the bus stop on the morning and first days of the change. Past experience bears that out.

There is progress. The bus stops along the Howth Road have been rebranded, stop specific timetables are being rolled out along the stops on those routes, and there will shortly be enough buses repainted in the new livery (as part of the normal repainting cycle) to allocate to the routes for phase 1 - I imagine that the NTA will want the routes to be operated by new liveried vehicles.

I would also imagine that work is taking place on the next phase too, as schedulers are garage based within Dublin Bus rather than working at head office.

But I think if I was to get one point through to you, it is that this is a slow tedious process to come up with the detailed schedules, and that's even before the additional complication of stop-by-stop schedules with even headways elements are added.

The devil is in the detail with these things, and getting that right is not something that will happen overnight.

Last edited by LXFlyer; 30-03-2021 at 18:37.
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03-04-2021, 11:07   #2833
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Some more positive news.

As of this morning the map in the TFI Journey Planner app is at last displaying the live position of GoAhead buses on Dublin City services in addition to Dublin Bus vehicles.
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