Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (542)

John Curran


542. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether there is ambition in the bus procurement strategy of the NTA for the coming years to transition to zero emission buses rather than low emission diesel hybrid buses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39867/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area, including the procurement of bus fleet.

At a policy level the Deputy will be aware of my Department's Low Emission Bus Trials. These bus trials were carried out between December 2018 and April 2019 and compared 15 different bus models of different technology types across a range of parameters to help determine which low emission technology might be most suitable for the Irish urban PSO bus fleet. It is the findings of these trials, together  with ongoing market analysis and public fleet procurement requirements under the EU Clean Vehicles Directive which will set the policy framework for the NTA's bus procurement strategy.

The NTA will publish that medium-term strategy later this year.  By 2023, I expect that half of the public urban bus fleet in the Greater Dublin Area will be low-emitting, with full conversion expected by 2030.

The NTA's short-term approach to bus procurement reflects the commitment under Project Ireland 2040 to no longer purchase of diesel-only buses for the urban PSO bus fleet, and the NTA plans to purchase hybrid buses as part of its bus replacement programme for the immediate future;  the NTA's forthcoming strategy for the coming years as referred to by the Deputy will be determined by the wider policy considerations that I have indicated.