A Cork TD has backed calls for a Bus Rapid Transit system in Cork, claiming it can be implemented quickly and reduce traffic gridlock in the city.
Deputy Donnchadh O’Laoghaire (SF) was speaking after a lecturer at University College Cork (UCC) highlighted the benefits of a TramBus system for Cork.
Speaking to The Echo, Dr Jerry Murphy, Director of the Research Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) and professor of Civil Engineering at UCC, explained:
“A TramBus, also known as Bus Rapid Transit, is a tram without rail. It looks exactly the same as the light rail but it is not powered directly from electricity via overhead lines.
“The TramBus is flexible — any fuel can be used and the route is not fixed,” he said. “The construction costs have been suggested as up to 10 times less than a light rail system.”
Mr O’Laoghaire said he has been a keen advocate of such a transport system in Cork for some time.
“I actually put in a similar proposal in my submission to the Cork Metropolitan Transport Strategy. Light rail is vital for Cork and we need to start planning for it now,” he added.
“Putting these types of infrastructure in place can take a long time so we need to start planning for it now. In the meantime, we need a Bus Rapid Transit system along those routes.”
The Cork TD pointed to the Glider transport system in Belfast as an example to follow.
Glider is the bus rapid transit system in Belfast designed to improve the efficiency of mass transit in the city by connecting East and West Belfast and the Titanic Quarter via the city centre.
Representing an investment of over £90m, it aims to deliver high quality, high capacity, bus-based rapid transit system.
“We have seen the success of the Glider transport system in Belfast,” said Mr O’Laoghaire.It has been a huge success in Belfast, a similar city to Cork and we need something like that in Cork.
“It has led to an increase in the number of people using public transport because it has become an attractive option. We need to break the gridlock here in Cork and offering people reliable, sustainable public transport is a key step in doing that.”