New Route 9 with rerouted Routes 83 and 68:
Phibsborough's AX580 is seen on Glasnevin Avenue about to turn off onto Benevin Road on the first departure of new route 9 on the 28th August 2011.
So Network Direct rolls on, this time effecting Glasnevin North and Bulfin Road. New Route 9 replaces Route 19A and in most ways it is just a renumbered 19A with an extension to Charlestown Shopping Centre. There is also one subtle change. The 19A only ever served Benevin Road heading southbound. With the replacement on the 19, Route 9 now serves Benevin Road in both directions.
Harristown's VG23 is seen turning left from Tolka Estate Road onto the Old Finglas Road on new Route 83 on the 28th August 2011. This would have been the first 83 however I was not willing to get up that early. Its seen here on its second lap.
Route 83 has been ammended under the changes, now taking over from Route 19. The full Glasnevin Routing is as follows with the southside routing remaining the same:
Harristown, R108, R122, Saint Margaret's Road, Charlestown Link Road, Jamestown Road, Sycamore Road, Grove Road/Grove Park Road, Ballygall Road West, Glasanon Road, Fitzmaurice Road, Ballygall Road East, Griffith Avenue, Tolka Estate Road, Old Finglas Road, Glasnevin Hill and as per former 83 route to Kimmage.
Yes that's right, the 83 is now serving Griffith Avenue, VG29 is seen operating Route 83 about to turn left off Grifith Avenue onto Ballygall Road East on the 28 August 2011.
These changes are exactly what Network Direct was suppose to mean, with a saving of a whole route through consolidation of services. The 83 route is somewhat meandering, but passenger numbers have been falling so the change will bring some much needed custom to the route. The meandering section of Ballygall Estate is gone, again a principle of Network Direct. McKee Avenue also loses it service, though supposedly this may have an off peak Route 140 service.
VG central in Glasnevin North today. VG11 is seen on the new section of Route 19 on the Charlestown Link Road on the 28th August 2011.
Unfortunately the principles of Network Direct have not strayed southside. The Bulfin Estate, no doubt due to the multiple protests and surprising levels of publicity, have kept a service, though not the one they wanted. Furthermore this service comes all the way from the countryside of Co. Dublin, and then meanders through the narrow estate before taking the long way to the city.
Conyngham Road's EV59 operating Route 68 is seen at the old 19 terminus on Bulfin Road loading about 10 passengers heading for the city on the 28th August 2011.
I've been in Bulfin Road a number of times recently to take photos of the last 19s. The area is literaly 1min walk from Emmet Road, where the frequent 51 and 78A service operate. Every few minutes the sound of a tram passing can be heard, again only a very short walk away. The 123 passes no more than a 1min walk from the Bulfin Road terminus, another high frequency service. And yet Bulfin Road keeps a service because its always had one, where many much larger estates further out of the city that have never had a service still don't. Coupled with the peak hour new Route 68A from Hawkins Street to Bulfin Road, the service is quite good, if still much less than the overkill 19. Personally Dublin Bus should have stuck to their guns on this one, however the campaign was let get out of order with uninformed press announcements that didn't really quell the anger of something that was only a 1min walk. Supposedly some people wanted to get to Camden Street. I'd love a bus from my house to Dublin Airport, but there isn't one. Why should I not be entitled, as much as they seem to think they are, to a loss making bus route.
Harristown's VG14 is seen on Sycamore Road operating Route 83 on the 28th August 2011.
As can be seen from the photos the 83 has been upgraded to a low floor route, having previously been an RV affair with the occasional VG/EV at night if they were available. This new route will be a fully EV and VG operated service, as it was today, so a nice upgrade for the 83 passenger base. And judging from my journey on the route today, the passenger base is quite high. However the new route can take a bit longer, I was on the bus 25mins from Charlestown to the Botanic Gardens, such was the levels of boarded and disembarking. A success story in my mind but something that begs a very important question.
Phiborough's AV316, fully loaded, is seen awaiting its departure time of 1410 from Limekiln Avenue on the first day of ROute 9 on the 28th August 2011.
Not even time to change the scroll, AX577 departs 20mins late from Limekiln Road on the 28th August 2011.
The 83 previously took a certain amount of time. A new route might bring a few extra stops, however consolidating two routes bring a whole extra route's passengers. The RTPI information might tell you the 83 covers lets say 10km in so many minutes, so it should take roughly the same amount of time to do 10.5km. Not so, with twice as many passengers. Not that I noticed any issues with the 83's running time, but I did with the 9s, again being much busier with the loss of the 9. I arrived at 1328 to Limekiln Road, no 1330 departed, the 1350 ended up departing at 1409, while the 1410 arrived in special, so it was obviously also running late. Not so good to be honest, especially on match day with many concerned punters.
Phibsborough's VG5 is seen loading at its new terminus at Charlestown Shopping Centre on Route 9 on the 28th August 2011.
Harristown's EV74 on the new section of Glasanon Road operating the new Route 83 on the 28th August 2011. Note the new stops.
Dublin Bus have never fully used the concept of good running time. A bit of slack in a schedule can be used to advantage. The principle area this can be used is in regulating a single corridor, having a set point where all your routes meet and spacing them out, forcing one to wait if there has been bunching. Yes maybe it will depart slightly late from the terminus, but for too long emphasis has been put on the service from estates rather than noting that it is the main corridor that has the potential to really increase passenger demand. A lot of resources a wasted when 3-4 buses run in tandem. More running time and proper controlling and these assets could be used to better effect. And a bit of slack reduces light running which is the biggest waste of all.
Harristown's VG29 is seen passing the former terminus of Route 19 on Grove Road on the 28th August 2011.
Remember, next week we look back at the last days of the former routes and vehicles.