Restoring Aircoach route from Ballinteer/Terenure to Dublin Airport

AirCoach Dublin

Proposal to restore Aircoach route on M50 from Ballinteer to Dublin Airport which was first launched in April 2011 before being discontinued. We suggest running the route as a Dublin Bus route (similar to 16 bus route) if Aircoach is no longer feasible.

Route Map:

Ballinteer =>

Dundrum Shopping Centre (Park & Ride) =>

Churchtown =>

Nutgrove Shopping Centre=>

Rathfarnham Castle=>

Terenure =>

Templeogue =>

Spawell (Park & Ride) => Dublin Airport via M50

  • Passengers boarding and alighting between Ballinteer and Spawell will be charged standard leap card fares.
  • NTA to facilitate leap card payment on bus for faster onboarding.
  • Facilitates a catchment area of approximately ~180,000 people.
  • Will eventually take advantage of Templeogue/Rathfarnham Bus Corridor under BusConnects.


  • Direct connectivity for much of South Dublin to Dublin Airport
  • Reduce gridlock on the M50 and free up space at airport car park
  • Directly intersect with BusConnects spines, Luas and Park & Ride services
  • Help Ireland meet it’s Climate Goals
  • Reduction in air pollution
  • Reduction in fuel poverty
  • Reduction in noise pollution from M50
  • Gives young people transport independence
Widening of the M50 cost millions but did little to solve it’s problems of today


Load Factor: A previous Aircoach along this route was ultimately pulled due to poor uptake. A new service would need:

  • Careful marketing and social media strategy to inform public of route availability
  • Addition of route onto TFI Live route planner and Google Maps
  • Add route information to Ryanair and Aer Lingus websites.
  • Use of 90 minute fare for passengers travelling between Ballinteer and Spawell
  • Real-time information at dedicated bus stops
  • Addition of Park & Ride services at locations such as DDTC and Spawell.


  • Park and Ride at Spawell to facilitate larger passenger uptake
  • Contactless payment with leap card speeds up passenger onboarding
  • Dublin Airport could passengers pay an M50 surcharge of just 3 euro
  • Ample space for luggage on provider services
  • Bus Shelters and real-time info at every location
  • Online reservation availability

Speed: The 16 bus route which travels to Dublin Airport has over 60 stops many of which are in busy city centre areas. This takes too much time. The new route would have between 10-15 stops and through the usage of the M50 have a time saving of over 40%. Bus Corridor plan for areas served such as Rathfarnham will help significantly to ease congestion delays on the route.

Route: The decision to run more buses on the M50 has come before scrutiny before in 2018 with one commenting:

It’s easy to run non-stop between two points along the M50, but that’s not how we build our patronage, we have to stop along the way.

— Jarrett Walker – BusConnects Network Re-Design
  • With this route, there will be plenty of stops along the route and once it hits the M50, it will be direct between two points.
  • Stops are located mostly close to village centres e.g Dundrum, Rathfarnham which are relatively large population areas.
  • Many other European cities such as Madrid and Copenhagen make frequent use of busy motorways to build their patronage to the airport.
Part of the Spawell Car Park could be used as a Park & Ride for new bus routes

Next Up: Dissecting Dublin’s SUV epidemic

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