The National Transport Authority has announced details of plans to invest €600 million in 12 new transport corridors in Cork, aimed at increasing the number of people using public transport in the city fourfold as well as increasing the number of people walking and cycling around the city by one third.
The investment aims to create 75km of new, dedicated bus lanes to the north, west and south of the city, as well as 54km of new cycling and walking infrastructure.
The National Transport Authority claims bus journey times will be halved across most of what it describes as 12 sustainable transport corridors.
The NTA is a statutory, non-commercial body, which operates under the Department of Transport.
It is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to provide high quality, accessible, sustainable transport across Ireland.
BusConnects Cork is the National Transport Authority's plan to improve bus services throughout Cork city and suburbs.
The NTA said the plan will help meet the expansion needs of Cork City while, at the same time, accelerating the transition to a net-zero emissions public transport fleet.
The NTA has today published the BusConnects Cork Sustainable Transport Corridors Report.
The report sets out the NTA's principles and initial thinking on how the Sustainable Transport Corridors (STCs) will significantly improve bus journey times and increase the number of people walking and cycling into the city.
The Sustainable Transport Corridors initiative is one of nine key elements of BusConnects Cork which, the NTA says, will transform the city's bus system, making public transport more accessible to more people.
These include re-designing the network of bus routes in the city, transitioning to a zero-emissions bus fleet, rolling out a new bus livery and implementing a new ticketing system.
The NTA says the proposed sustainable transport corridors are fundamental to realising the ambition of the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy, which was developed in connection with Cork City Council and Cork County Council, to increase the number of people using public transport in Cork fourfold by 2040, and expand the numbers cycling and walking by 33%.
The 12 proposed corridors in the Sustainable Transport Corridors system are:
* Dunkettle to City Centre;
* Mayfield to City Centre;
*~Blackpool to City Centre;
* Hollyhill to City Centre;
* Ballincollig to City Centre;
* Bishopstown to City Centre;
* Togher to City Centre;
* Airport Road to City Centre;
* Maryborough Hill to City Centre;
* Mahon to City Centre;
* Kinsale Road to Douglas; and
* Sunday's Well to Hollyhill.
The NTA said a more detailed set of proposals will be published for an initial public consultation during June.
This will include public engagement and allow people to provide feedback and local knowledge regarding the proposals.
The NTA said a series of community forums will be established to engage people and groups at a local level for each corridor and surrounding areas, as plans for the project are developed, designed and progressed. It said further details regarding the Community Forums will be announced in June.
Speaking at today's announcement, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said: "As one of Europe's fastest growing cities, Cork has a unique opportunity to become a leader in sustainable transport. BusConnects Cork is key to making public transport and active travel a viable option for people and communities across the city."
NTA Chief Executive Anne Graham said a clean, modern and reliable public transport system could help unlock Cork's potential as a connected and competitive European city.
"With a 51% increase in the numbers taking the bus in just six years, there is a rapidly growing demand for bus services and the need for modern infrastructure to support Cork's growth," she said.
"The planned growth in bus services and increase in active travel investment will benefit a significant proportion of Cork's population but will not fully succeed without the roll-out of the sustainable transport corridors."
Chief Executive of Cork City Council Ann Doherty said: "Today's investment by the NTA in BusConnects Cork is a vote of confidence in our city and our ambitious plans to make Cork a better and more sustainable place to live, work, visit and invest in."