Martin McGuinness, an eminent icon of Irish political life, has died in his native Derry. From the terraced streets of the Bogside to the salubrious surroundings of Stormont, the once undisputed bastion of Ulster unionism, agendaNi reflects upon one man’s political odyssey. At the age of 21 Martin McGuinness had risen to second in command...
Translink is on a mission to help more people in Northern Ireland become ‘Smartmovers’ by transforming public transport to provide integrated services that connect people, enhance the economy and improve the environment – supporting the Executive’s draft Programme for Government.
Smartmovers take advantage of all the lifestyle benefits public transport offers; relaxing on board comfortable and modern services; reducing stress by avoiding traffic congestion; enjoying more freedom and free WiFi on coaches and trains; and saving time and money.
In contrast, continued growth in private car sales is unsustainable; exacerbating congestion, noise and pollution, making local streets more dangerous and choking our economy.
With increasing numbers of fare-paying passengers, there’s clear evidence that more people are now making the Smart Move. In the weeks before Christmas, over half a million additional journeys were made on public transport compared to the previous year.
Translink is committed to continued passenger growth by delivering major developments and innovation to demonstrate just why bus, coach and train services should be your first choice for travel.
Translink continues to develop design plans for both a new Belfast Hub and North-West Multi-Modal Transport Hub to serve growing numbers of smartmovers with attractive gateways that connect them to greater opportunity and act as catalysts for regeneration.
Bus Priority measures play a vital role in creating a modern and effective transport network and contribute to reducing pollution. Filling just one bus with passengers equates to the removal of around 50 cars from our roads.
Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT), due to be operational in autumn 2018, will benefit from extensive bus priority measures along its routes. Featuring modern high-capacity eco-friendly hybrid buses that use high quality halts and interchanges, BRT will offer high frequency services connecting east and west Belfast.
Park and Ride schemes are crucial to address future transport need with customers benefiting from Bus Priority on their daily commute. Their importance to sustainable development is undeniable – every 500 cars using park and ride saves around 3km of traffic congestion.
Fleet enhancements are planned for Metro, Ulsterbus and Goldline this year – essential for maintaining service quality and reliability. This includes new high spec double deck vehicles for Airport Express 300 services to Belfast International Airport, with attractive features such as free WIFI, USB charging points, on board audio visual and real-time information. This will ensure we continue to deliver customer growth, making an excellent first impression on visitors while providing an attractive, modern and comfortable service for local people.
Commencing next year, Translink’s Future Ticketing System (TFTS) will provide customers with better integration, flexibility and convenience. Key enhancements will include contactless credit/debit card payments, an ePurse Stored Value ‘Oyster style’ Smartcard; ticket vending machines and gated rail stations.
A successful public transport network nurtures a healthy local economy; attracting new business, keeping people on the move for jobs and services, improving productivity and supporting the retail and hospitality sectors. The rewards are clear.
Infrastructure development, product innovation and sustained vehicle investment are essential to encourage even more people in Northern Ireland to make the Smart Move and get on board public transport.