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Challenge / Goal

Dublin City, like nearly all large cities, has suffered from problems that traffic congestion presents. The challenge for Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority, was to reduce the congestion affecting public buses, thus helping to improve journey times for bus users and commuters. The approximately 840 traffic intersections directly controlled by Dublin City Council presented the opportunity for priority intervention through the development of a dedicated bus priority application.


Dublin City Councils centralised bus priority system was developed to prioritise public buses through Dublin. The centralised bus priority system combines two separate systems. These are the on-board bus AVLS (Automatic Vehicle Location System) and the city council's traffic management system (SCATS). Bus data is received every twenty seconds, which includes bus location. From there priority is given to buses via the use of DPTIM (Dublin Public Transport Interface Module), a dedicated bus priority application developed with Nicander. Virtual detectors are installed within DPTIM which allow buses to essentially communicate with SCATS controlled traffic intersection. Detectors are drawn out on a two dimensional map of Dublin, and configured by the user. As a bus approaches an intersection and enters a virtual detector, a DPTIM intervention is activated and the application communicates with SCATS; priority is then provided via a number of different techniques. This process is fully automated, once the detector has been installed, bus routes selected, and priority type configured, the detector will provide priority without the need for user intervention. Further to this, detectors can be configured using a scheduler, which means buses can be prioritised in one direction during the AM peak, and in another during the PM peak. 


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Time period

Planning time: 1 to 2 years

Implementation time: 1 to 2 years


Dublin City Council; Dublin Bus, Nicander, Go-Ahead Ireland

Service providers

Dublin City Council; National Transport Authority

End users

Dublin Bus Users

    Main benefits

  • Improving traffic management

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