Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in association with University College Dublin, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, RTÉ and the Sandyford Business Estates Association, has announced a proposed Southeast Dublin rapid transit service: BlueLine.

BlueLine will run from St. Vincent’s University Hospital (Nutley Lane) to the Sandyford Business Estate via University College, Dublin. It will offer a high quality, high-frequency, high-capacity public transport service featuring all the benefits of a fixed-rail tram system with the flexibility of being able to drive on the road. It will ensure safe, quick and dependable journey times, therefore improving connectivity and reducing dependence on private car travel in Southeast Dublin.

BlueLine is a very exciting development in public transport in Dublin. It can deliver a quality service, which is very close to that of light rail in terms of journey time, operating hours, frequency, reliability and comfort but at a significantly lower cost. A detailed assessment of the project shows that it can be built for around €33m and that it offers excellent value for money, which makes it a very appropriate public investment in the current difficult economic climate.

The service will provide a high quality public transport link between the DART, BUS and LUAS services. It will serve the major employment centres of St Vincent’s University Hospital, RTÉ, UCD and the Sandyford business estates. It will also improve connectivity between local communities in the area. Ten stations will be provided along the route at the following locations:

* · St. Vincent’s University Hospital
* · RTÉ
* · UCD Main Gate
* · UCD Central
* · Roebuck Road
* · Mount Anville
* · Goatstown
* · Kilmacud (interchange with LUAS and park & ride)
* · Stillorgan/Sandyford (LUAS interchange)
* · Sandyford Central

There will be one service every 6 minutes at peak times and it will operate 18 hours a day. The service will carry in excess of 1,000 passengers per direction per hour. The vehicles specified are similar to the existing LUAS trams providing the user with easy access from multiple doors. The service will provide a high level of comfort for passengers, with real time passenger information displays, off-board tickets, shelters with comfortable seats and lighting.

The promoters of this project have arranged for public information centres to be located at the Dún Laoghaire and Dundrum Council Offices; Beacon South Quarter; UCD main campus; the reception area of St. Vincent’s Hospital; the main canteen of RTÉ and the Merrion Centre. Members of the public can view the project at these information centres and submit comments. A website has been developed to provide additional information on the project – click here.

The appraisal undertaken to date indicates that the project is financially viable and will generate an excellent return on the investment required, with fare revenue forecasts exceeding operating costs.

The Benefits of the system will include:

* · total journey time of approximately 18minutes;
* · capacity to carry high volumes of passengers (in excess of 1000 per hour);
* · extended operating day of at least 18 hours, with one service every 6 minutes;
* · improved accessibility to work, education, retail, leisure, public facilities and other activities within southeast area;
* · significant advantages for pedestrians and cyclists, as they will be accommodated along the length of the route.

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