Thursday, April 24, 2008

Empty Bus Lanes beside choked traffic lanes.

This morning at c. 7.20am on RTE, AA Roadwatch reported that the busiest stretch of road in the country was in Blackrock, Co Dublin. This seems to be regularly the case.
And I’ll bet that one of the least busy stretches of road at that time of the morning is also in Blackrock - the new bus lane.

In calculating the investment/cost of public transport, does anyone factor in the huge capital value of such a piece of road?
Does Dublin Bus measure and report bus frequency and/or passenger volume numbers for each bus lane? Are there any minimum targets set for bus frequency/passenger numbers?
Or is it just a relatively arbitrary process, in part intended to force cars off the road by, in most cases, halving the number of traffic lanes available to them?

Given the capital value of these key road routes, and the massive capital investment proposed for Luas, Metro, interconnector etc., surely the first priority must be to maximise bus lane usage in order to justify the conversion of hugely valuable road assets into bus lanes?

And if a bus lane in not performing - either because Dublin Bus is not providing a sufficiently frequent service on it or they simply cannot attract enough passengers, then there must be a standard mechanism which causes that bus lane to be automatically dropped and revert to normal traffic use.

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