Dublin Commuter Coalition has rejected, in the strongest possible terms, any suggestion that bus lanes be opened to electric vehicles. The Coalition, who elected their inaugural executive committee on Saturday October 26th, said that this proposal is a slap in the face to bus users who already give up their time and freedom of mobility by travelling in a sustainable way to no thanks or, as is evident from this proposal, even a modicum of respect.
Chairperson of Dublin Commuter Coalition, Kevin Carter said “It is bizarre, it is astonishing and it is stunningly arrogant that this government would even suggest implementing a scheme that so specifically and brazenly harms bus users. Bus users are never rewarded for choosing to travel in a sustainable way, they are only ever subject to overcrowding, constant fare increases and poor enforcement of existing traffic laws. Flagrant abuse of bus lanes is a constant issue for bus users and now this government is proposing further degrading the attractiveness of this mode by making bus users sit in even more traffic that they had no hand in causing.”
In 2018, bus users made up 30% of the people travelling into Dublin City (1), the largest of any single group. By choosing to take the bus, these users have done the city a massive favour by taking cars off the road and making congestion in the city less of a problem. To then reward these users by removing what little prioritisation they have shows a profound ignorance or disrespect of the very central tenets of any sound sustainable mobility policy.
Whilst the Minister for Transport already maintains the right to drive in a bus lane as a government minister, even if removed from cabinet, as the proud owner of an electric vehicle, he will personally benefit directly from this proposal. If this government wants people to buy electric cars MORE than it wants people to travel by walking, cycling and public transport then we’re sorry to say that we will continue overshooting our emissions targets (2) and continue to live in one of the most congested cities in the world (3)