Metro Dart (Text)

One of the biggest complaints we have heard over the years, there is no rail to Airport. Many efforts have been made to address this problem. Main suggestion was to build a rail from Belfast line to Airport.  One from Kinsaley direction the other from Donabate, both failed for several reasons, mainly no capacity on the Belfast line and Dart trains. Effectiveness, efficiency, and conveniences were also a factor due to dead-end system. There is one piece of success, the Port Tunnel. Users can get into the city centre from Airport and Swords in 20 minutes. The Port Tunnel only serves the city centre, and it is needed to take trucks direct to Dublin Port and off the streets.

Finally, after years of examination I came up with a solution, a straight through rail line. I researched this option, sough opinions and conducted several surveys, all resulted in this been the better solution, very close to 100% support when it was fully explained.        

The route of this straight through rail line. Firstly, the physical route, from Donabate to Swords Estuary through open land. Then on Metro North route, through Swords on centre median of R 132. This is something I sought and got, back in the eighties when the R 132 was being built (this already got permission at Metro North hearing in 2009). Then through Airport, Dardistown and Northwood through open spaces. Then through Ballymun on centre median of Ballymun Road. (or it could be dropped down on this road with cut and fill if required). After DCU station, less than two kilometres’ it goes underground to Glasnevin station, 17 Kilometres. There is an option of going round by M50 to avoid underground, but it is a little inferior. This links up the whole rail network in Dublin, all Ireland with a direct Cork to Belfast rail link, part of shared island. All this can only happen with standard rail gauge. The roundabout stations (2 in Swords)  important for buses and other vehicles to serve the stations without congesting the area.

Capacity.                                                                                                                                                         

Rail. By linking Metro Dart to existing rail lines upgraded to Dart maximises city rail.

Luas. To disperse the massive increase in train usage, due to Dart upgrade, it is essential to get all users to their destination.  G-Link or Luas City Orbital will do this, (see map). Build section of Luas from Fatima (Green line) to Spencer Dock via Stephen’s Green, six Kilometres. This creates a city Luas orbital taking users arriving at Heuston, Connolly, and Spencer Dock within walking distance of all areas in the wider Dublin centre area. City has space for three needed Luas lines, Rathfarnham, Lucan, and Santry.  

Bus. Bus is very ineffective as too many buses are in the wrong place, in wrong direction at the wrong time, caused by too many cross-city buses. These problems and problems of the full bus network are addressed by city centre contraflow bus loop. Contraflow bus lane most effective of all, it self-polices, better on Quayside as there are no activities and less Luas obstruction, Train Track Effect if traffic lights are synchronised. This city centre solution is a vital part of Dublin bus solution, it put buses where needed.

The Newton Transport Plan allows for this to happen with ample space for pedestrians, safe cycling, and more public spaces Plaza etc without buses blocking each other. 

Changing. is a very important movement in public transport usage. No Changing is best, it takes user fastest to destination.Direct changing is the next best with no delay. Convenient Changing is where users change at an island platform, no crossing rail line. Normal Changing, where users transfer from one train to another on different platform. Delay Changing, where users change from one train to another but must wait for train. Transfer Changing, one mode of transport to another, avoid blind changing (waiting).   

Direct Travel is very important in public transport. The principle of movement is direct. The car is always flexible with directness available to it. Public transport should be aiming to be as good as the car as possible, the first step is direct linking by linking up. This is why it is so essential as changing can lead to longer travel because with rail, time is allowed for delays etc. and to meet timetable schedules. There are other forms that helps changes that cause little delays, there are two, 1. Where long distance trains change with high frequency local train routes, where frequency is 10 minutes. 2. Where commuters change from local trains to country trains, 30 minutes frequency. This is achieved in the modern station with island platforms where user changes over to country train without having to cross the rail line, they wait in train they are accessing. Users don’t like waiting (a major flaws in public transport), also ideal for disabled users.  

Cycling                                                                                                                                                                             We all want safe cycle lanes. Don’t use them to disrupt public transport. All major activities planners have suitable qualifications, except for Public Transport, yet it is such a major player throughout the world. It is a sad situation when the most effective system for buses in Dublin, Contraflow bus lane is being ignored by planners for cyclists, because they don’t understand public transport. A similar situation could happen in Swords for a cycle way, that will undermine Metro Dart. It has happened in Cork where they are turning an important train track into cycle way, it went from Cork to Youghal.   It makes no sense taking almost a thousand buses a day from Dame St, put them on Quays and on Luas line in Nassau St. for no extra passengers. This Space is needed for many extra buses (with passengers) Bus Connects plans to delivers to city.