While our Dublin network redesign is open for public comment, I’ll be posting some frequently asked questions here.
How much change could we make to the plan in response to public comment?
In a July 18 article in the Irish daily The Independent, Paul Melia wrote that “Only minor changes can be made to a radical restructuring of the Dublin Bus network unveiled last week or it will “fall apart”. The headline is “Only ‘minor changes’ can be made to radical plan for Dublin Bus.”
“Minor” is the reporter’s word, not mine. I did say that if you change more than about 15% of the network it will fall apart. But 15% is not minor. While the plan is a dramatic change, at least half of it consists of service on streets served now, doing something much like what it does now. So compared to the amount of the network we’re actually changing, 15% is very substantial.
Why is there a limit to how much we could change the network?
The defining feature of a network the interdependence of its parts. We did not just design a set of routes. We designed a pattern of connections. The connections, as much as the routes, governs how much of Dublin people can get to in a reasonable amount of time. So we will resist changing a route in a way that destroys or damages a connection, because the connections — the ease of getting off this bus and onto that one so that you can get to more places — are the essence of how the plan achieves its benefits.
Having said that, we will make changes. Quite possibly lots of them. But we will be mindful of this principle when we do.