Bus Connects
Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign
National Transport Authority
Dun Sceine, Harcourt Lane
Dublin 2.

27th September 2018

BusConnects: A New Bus Network

Dear Sir/Madam,

In my capacity as a public representative I submitted a number of observations to you in respect of different bus and transport proposals as part of the public consultation phase of BusConnects. I’m aware that we are in a public consultation phase of a network redesign and there is no doubting the many positive elements of the proposals for public transport in Dublin City including substantial capital investment, transferable fares between Bus, Luas and Dart, much needed orbital routes and improved cycling facilities etc however I’m aware that major revisions are required to BusConnects and I have made observations on same.

In respect of disability and access I’m not getting the sense from studying the proposals that there were any prior or meaningful consultations with disability groups such as the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) or Inclusion Ireland or others. I would urge that BusConnects takes on board the content of observations made by groups representing the disability sector and also sits down with these organisations before any revisions are announced in the New Year.

To give a small example of a BusConnects proposal which may feel to many as an inconsequential change but to some it could be a major life challenge and quite distressing. Learning the number of a particular bus and the time that it arrives can be very challenging for people with intellectual disabilities but can be a major benefit for these individuals who use public transport to try and live independent lives. I am at a loss to understand why our route numbers are changing and I know that many people in the disability community feel that this example given is a reflection of a lack of foresight / thought by BusConnects for the disability community. I challenge Busconnects to have meaningful engagement with groups representing people with disabilities to disprove this perception.

I’m also aware that transferring from one mode of transport to another can be very challenging for many with disabilities including those in employment as well as our elderly and again this needs to be taken into account. I accept that orbital routes can be positive in this regard also but the point I’m making is that there should be meaningful and extensive

consultation before the New Year revision e.g. providing direct transport services to or near disability service providers such as St Michael’s House, accessibility issues, numbering etc.

I trust the above comments will be taken into consideration.

Yours Sincerely,

Finian McGrath TD

Minister for Disabilities