2023 - Update 7:
Sunday the 19th February 2023 saw the opening of the Liffey Valley Bus Terminus, the first purpose built city bus interchange in Dublin (i.e. purpuse built with proper shelter facilities). Bus interchanges are a foreign concept, popular in cities where public transport has been traditionally more prioritised. But in Dublin, bus services are often a second thought after something has already been built. It is almost exactly 24 years since the 78A was first extended into the brand new Liffey Valley Shopping Centre on the 21st February 1999 and from then until now the bus terminus has been at the side of a very busy road within the shopping complex, out of the way. So the NTA should be commended in bringing this concept to the fore, and lets hope its the first of many.
Route 26 and 76/A come in from the southern side of Liffey Valley as normal. They pass the former temporary terminus stop 7976. They turn right(ish) at the next junction (where the roundabout has now been replaced by a light controlled junction) where a filter light means buses can go to the right from the inside lane and have priority then to get into the otherside lane. They go through the next roundabout and then turn right into the bus plaza (see Dublin Bus Map). On return they serve the original terminus stop (4715). The 40, L51 and L53 come in from the Fonthill Road on the west, and proceed straight ahead towards the bus plaza not serving the original termini stops (4715 & 7976) in either direction.
When the buses turn into the interchange, the first stop is reserved for set-down only. Buses should not wait for time in this location, instead they should exit the interchange left, then loop at the roundabout and just beyond the interchange on the left side there is a long bay of bus parking. Buses then loop back at the next roundabout and turn into the interchange for their return journey. The next stop is for the L51 only, the next for the L53, and then on the other side of the interchange there is a shared stop for the 26 and the 76/A to Chapelizod or Blanchardstown Shopping Centre via Ballyfermot. The G2 has the next stop, while the last bus stop is for the 76/A to Tallaght. A loop just before the exit is provided if for some reasons a bay is not available initially for a bus. Overall the design is very good, though one wonders why so few buses leave from one side and so many leave from the other. Hopefully this doesn't cause issues, especially with the 76 and 26 sharing one stop.
The connection with the C-Spine is not great at present, the location of the interchange is a bit away from the pedestrian bridge but it should be noted that a new pedestrian bridge directly at the interchange is part of the Bus Connects plan and will make the interchange with the C-Spine seamless. The facilities in the bus interchange are well thought-out, with both exterior and interior seating, with a well enclosed area behind glass keeping the worst of the elements away from the waiting passenger. A large RTPI display is also included internally which serves the two bays opposite each other, while on the exterior each stop has its own RTPI display.
On the morning of the introduction both Dublin Bus and Go-Ahead had their staff cars out. The cars were looping between the former stops and the new stops to make sure no one was left behind. Overall, I have to say I'm well impressed with the introduction of the new facilities, it is a huge upgrade for the waiting passengers and with car parking charges now introduced in Liffey Valley, one hopes we'll see an increase in bus usage there. Overall, a job well done.