A HIGH-CAPACITY transport corridor from Mahon to Ballincollig is set to form part of an upcoming national transport plan for Cork.
The route - which could include rapid bus or, in the long-term, light rail - is expected to include the city centre, UCC, CIT, CUH and populous suburbs like Wilton and Bishopstown.
The Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Study is currently being prepared by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in conjunction with Cork City and County Councils.
The document, due to be completed by the end of the year, will make recommendations on the future transport infrastructural requirements for the wider city region, including a high capacity bus network and, potentially, light rail.
These will be in addition to improved rail services and new park and ride locations.
It is understood that the development of a high-capacity transport corridor from Mahon to Ballincollig will be included in the plan.
The route is likely to include the docklands, the city centre, University College Cork, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Bishopstown and CIT.
However, it is unclear yet whether this corridor will be designed for rapid bus transport or light rail.
Population density is a key facet of the plan, with the extension of the city boundary and the projected population increases in the coming decades important elements.
This includes the Docklands in the east of the city but also the expected surge in population in the western suburbs, including Bishopstown, Wilton and Ballincollig.
In a response issued at a meeting of Cork City Council this week, Deputy Council CEO Pat Ledwidge said that as population density increases throughout the city, the need for 'non-car' transport will too.
He said: "Bishopstown Wilton will become part of a large south-west area that will include some of the largest employers in the Southern Region and will be bisected by one of Cork's major high capacity public transport routes, which is due to be upgraded to light rail."
"Over the next three decades, areas such as Bishopstown Wilton will most likely evolve from outer suburban residential areas to inner suburban residential areas as the city expands. this will involve increased densities and a greater reliance on non-car modes for mobility."