Transforming public transport to boost connectivity

 

With almost 80 million passenger journeys last year and an increase of over 1.5 million fare-paying passengers, it’s clear that more and more people are choosing the bus and train as their preferred way to travel.

This latest success marks the end of the first year of Translink’s ‘Get on Board’ strategy; a five-year plan centred around Translink’s vision ‘To Be Your First Choice for Travel in Northern Ireland’.

Our ‘Get on Board’ strategy was designed to grow passenger journeys by 1 million per year supporting the draft Northern Ireland Executive Programme for Government outcome – to increase the use of public transport.

By focusing on four key objectives: operational excellence, customer satisfaction, passenger growth and value for money, we are getting things right for our customers and the investment made in service improvements and developments are delivering results for Northern Ireland and its citizens.

We are now seeing culture and attitudes changing as more and more people recognise the lifestyle benefits public transport offers: relaxing on board comfortable and modern services; reducing stress by avoiding traffic congestion; enjoying more ‘me-time’ and free WiFi on coaches and trains; and saving time and money.

In a recent Translink customer survey, more than 85 per cent of respondents said taking the bus or train regularly makes them more productive at work and in their personal life; 46 per cent of respondents said they used their travel time to catch up with emails and work-related matters.

Investing for success

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.

New transport hubs

Planning applications have now been submitted for both the Belfast and North-West Transport Hubs to serve growing numbers of passengers with attractive gateways that connect them to greater opportunities and act as catalysts for regeneration. Subject to planning consent, construction of these two important schemes could start as early as next year.

Belfast Rapid Transit

Belfast Rapid Transit (BRT), representing an investment of over £90 million is due to be operational in autumn 2018. Featuring modern high-capacity, eco-friendly hybrid buses that use high quality halts and interchanges, BRT will offer high frequency services using extensive bus priority and delivering direct cross-city services between east and west Belfast.

New ticketing innovations

Commencing next year, Translink’s Future Ticketing System 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.

Fleet enhancements

Further fleet enhancements are planned for our Goldline Express services later this year. This will ensure we maintain service quality and reliability while also improving our environmental impact and offer customers better on board facilities. We are also scoping out potential fleet investment in order to increase passenger capacity on the rail network.

We will continue to deliver our ‘Get on Board’ strategy and drive initiatives that champion excellent public transport. Working collaboratively with our stakeholders we can together transform public transport to encourage more people to ‘Get on Board’ and keep Northern Ireland moving and growing.

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