Document Type

Conference Paper


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Urban studies (Planning and development), Transport planning and social aspects of transport


Previous studies have looked at the absence and need for orbital public transport corridors in the Greater Dublin Area [1]. This current paper outlines recent evidence which demonstrates that demand for such orbital services exists. Recent travel survey data indicates that demand exists in Dublin for both orbital and “networked” trips. In surveys of public transport users on two public transport corridors in the Greater Dublin Area, 27% of people transferred either from or to another public transport service as part of their journey. Overall this appears a very significant level of passenger transfer within an urban transport market where traditionally transferability is thought of as being low or negligible. This suggests that there is an existing demand for orbital and directional trips (those which involve a transfer) within the Greater Dublin Area. Both surveys were taken across contrasting areas of the city. The evidence for transfer demand is corroborated by the census and by household travel data collected by the NTA, both of which indicate a clear and significant demand for orbital trips. No matching or supporting high level of service corridors currently exist to support these. The Dublin City Council Core Strategy also suggests the implementation of an orbital network and this should, in a normal planning framework, lead transport strategy. Orbital High Quality Bus Corridors have been proposed for Dublin in the past but never implemented. Orbital routes are often considered a costly idea that is unpopular with transport users. Yet many cities provide them in a successful, often revenue-generating context. Cities that support successful orbital services take a Network Effect approach to service design where high quality transferability is paramount. Local and international evidence suggests that orbital QBCs can be a success if implemented with a high level of service. The benefits of implementing orbital high quality corridors goes beyond serving immediate trip demand and can help to create an effective city-wide transport network.

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