Luận Văn Thạc Sĩ Tiếng Anh Evaluation of the current bus system in Dublin- Identifying weaknesses and comparing to latest bus network proposal, Bus Connects. Để giúp đỡ những bạn học viên đang chuẩn bị làm bài luận văn thạc sĩ ngành ngôn ngữ anh được tốt hơn, Luận văn Panda có chia sẻ đến các bạn học viên đang gặp khó khăn trong việc làm bài thạc sĩ của mình. Dịch vụ viết thuê luận văn thạc sĩ tại Luận văn Panda luôn cập nhập mới nhất những bài luận văn đạt điểm cao cho các bạn học viên tham khảo.
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1.1 Context for the Research:
“…high quality and more efficient public transport provisions that responds economic needs and connects residents with jobs is considered as a key factor for city growth” (Ustaoglu et al., 2017) As the population in a city grows, there is a need for increase in housing developments to accommodate the enlarged number of residents. Ireland’s population has been in continuous growth since 1990 in accordance with data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) (2018) as can be observed in Appendix C. As a consequence, Dublin, being the capital city, has experienced the largest population growth in the country.
Dublin’s building heights have historically been limited through guidelines that varied depending on the area of development being considered but did not exceed six to eight storeys generally (Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, 2018, p. 1), with very limited exceptions made (particularly in recent years) for locations such as the Docklands. This has led to the city physically growing horizontally through dispersed development since the 1990s (Ustaoglu et al., 2017). Such a type of development requires public transportation systems to accompany the growth by expanding their reach further so as to allow residents in the new areas to commute from their homes to any activities they may be involved in without having to rely on ownership of a private vehicle.
The main cities in Ireland, including and particularly Dublin, are going through a housing shortage crisis, an issue that is extensively discussed by media in a frequent basis. Despite the general awareness of this issue, it is not expected to be resolved in the near future due to the population growth forecasts for the coming years and to the current inability to develop new homes at the rate that has been studied to be optimum to meet the growing demands (Morgenroth, 2018).
Simultaneously, the public transportation system in Dublin has many proposals for future development or upgrade. The latest one related to the bus system specifically has been identified to be called Bus Connects, which aims at improving the existing service by providing faster and more frequent bus route services, as well as a new network design (National Transport Authority, 2018c).
Effective public transportation in Dublin could aid the above-mentioned current housing crisis, even if in a small manner, by allowing ease of access to already developed or soon to be developed areas, such that no housing opportunities are wasted or available to only a reduced fraction of the population who own private cars.
1.2 Aims of this Research:
This research aims to investigate the effectiveness of the existing bus system in Dublin and identify its main weaknesses from the users’ perspective. Through this, this study aims to analyse the proposed changes in the bus system for the near future (the Bus Connects proposal) according to these main issues identified. It will also aim to find any impact or influence that accessibility to the bus system may have when considering alternatives for housing locations so as to identify any possible linkage between the currently undergoing housing shortage in Dublin city and the bus transportation system available, with the ultimate aim of finding out: Is the proposal for the new bus network system dealing with the main issues currently experienced by its users? And Does the current bus system in Dublin have an impact in the housing shortage issue?
Moreover, the study will include research on characteristics of and initiatives adopted to bus public transportation systems from other cities to analyse possible additional/alternative solutions that could be applicable to Dublin’s bus system.
From the above, the following sub-questions are identified for this study:
- What are the current issues in Dublin’s bus system as experienced by bus commuters?
- Do the existing bus service characteristics influence residents when looking for accommodation?
- What are the development or improvement plans for the bus services in Dublin in the coming years that can improve mobility in the city?
- What measures have been adopted in bus systems in other cities that could be beneficial for consideration in Dublin city?
The main contribution of this study will be the identification of the currently unsatisfied bus commuters’ needs with the existing bus transportation system through the development of adequate primary research, and the evaluation of how the newest proposal considers these needs.
1.3 Rationale for the Research:
Housing shortage is a well-known, frequently discussed issue for Dublin and other cities in Ireland. There is constant research being carried out to understand the future projection in size of the city and the implications of not being able to accommodate the expected growth. Literature found, however, has not provided an insight into the effects that the existing bus system has on Dublin city residents commuting needs that can affect them at the time of assessing accommodation alternatives in or around the city. This is considered relevant since a lack of adequate or convenient accessibility to public
transport can equate to some housing opportunities being only accessible to residents who own private
cars, who, in turn, would also be subject to the increasing traffic congestion affecting their commuting times (National Transport Authority, 2016a) and to restricted parking opportunities in the city centre (McGee, 2018).
It was reported that the current infrastructure in Ireland is lagging behind with the increasing demand from the growing population, the transportation system being one of them, and in order to be able to continue growing economically by attracting more business, this issue will need to be addressed. Some believe that the housing shortage issue (along with school capacities, healthcare and public transport) is already starting to discourage investment (MacDonald, 2016). Others expect that the upcoming United Kingdom Brexit measures will continue to attract UK firms into Dublin, despite the housing crisis, though the shortage of accommodation along with its elevated prices are still highlighted as the main factors currently discouraging new or further investment (O’Carroll, 2017).
McGee (2018) reported that future developments in the city centre of Dublin will not include provision for car park spaces in an effort to reduce private car usage and encourage use of public transport instead. For this sustainable measure to be successful and feasible for residents, public transportation options need to be available, accessible and efficient, as well as cost-effective for its users, so that all residents may be able to adopt public transportation as an alternative to private cars, particularly those who commute longer distances and/or do not have the opportunity to walk or cycle as an alternative to their activities.
As stated by Vickerman (2007) there’s a “need for further work on micro studies to unravel how the decision-making of firms and households is influenced by transport infrastructure” (Vickerman, 2007, as cited by Wangsness, Rødseth and Hansen, 2017) thus suggesting that the availability and quality of public transport services is one of the considerations that both firms and residents assess prior to choosing a home or an office location. Locations with better access to public transportation tend to be better valued and thus also more popular for investment.
New projects to improve Dublin’s public transportation system have been looked at for many years, with some proposals going ahead, such as the expansion of one of the tram lines, the “LUAS Cross city” project which was the extension of the green LUAS line northbound, others ending at the proposal phase without success, such as the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) proposal, “Swiftway” which was issued for consultation back in 2014, and others still being analysed and debated such as “Metro North” (Ginty, 2017). The Bus Connects proposal is the latest proposal related to the bus system and for which works could begin as early as the end of 2019.
This study will contribute to the existing literature through an assessment of the weaknesses in the current bus system from the users’ perspective and evaluating the extent to which these are being incorporated into the latest Bus Connects proposal. It also aims at finding any linkage that the current
bus system and the existing housing shortage issue may have in Dublin city, if at all. The purpose of this will be to identify any developments in the bus transportation system that could potentially assist to improve the bus commuters’ experience and accessibility to buses and to understand which limitations in to the bus public transport can currently be discouraging its use in some cases and causing that already-existing housing opportunities may be wasted. In order to achieve this, the study will also investigate current adopted bus system characteristics in a similar city from another country that may be considered applicable for future consideration into the bus system here in Dublin.
1.4 Dissertation Structure
The background for this study with its various sub-topics is detailed in Chapter 2 through the literature review that assisted with the development of the research topic and the identification of different themes. This chapter is thus divided into these identified themes and the latest and most relevant information on them has been summarised. This is where the highlights of the proposed new bus network design (Bus Connects) can be found, along with other relevant topics such as the current situation for Dublin commuters in terms of transportation, further information on the previously mentioned housing crisis as well as the city’s projected continuing growth that is influencing the way in which Dublin develops and plans for the future. Transport characteristics from other cities that differ from Dublin’s existing system are also included in this section and another section on the concepts that agile cities bring forward related to public transportation.
Chapter 3 in this study shows the process undertaken to find the most appropriate research methodology to suit this particular research topic, through an analysis of the research onion model explained in Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2012). The methods for carrying out the primary research are thus identified and explained, possible biases and ethical issues are also acknowledged.
The following chapter, number 4, presents a summary of the findings that were collected through the primary research, this is done mainly through figures that aid to visualise the results, with brief explanations to assist in their understanding.
A discussion of the findings follows in Chapter 5, with a more in-depth analysis of what they portray and how they are interpreted by the researcher, also considering the previously found literature, particularly providing an analysis of the bus network proposal for the near future.
A conclusion of the main findings can be found in chapter 6, which summarises the analysis carried out previously and focuses on those that are more relevant to this study. This chapter also includes recommendations for further study.
1.5 Limitations to the Research
Dublin bus transportation system is part of a network of public transportation systems which also includes tram lines (LUAS) and trains (DART). Isolating the bus system from the other modes of public transportation is assessing an incomplete system, and it is possible that some of the weaknesses presented in the bus system are compensated even if partially, by one or both other existing modes of public transportation. Similarly, it is possible that the users completing the survey adopt more than one mode of public transportation. Survey questions should be clear and explicit in their focus towards buses only.
While the best efforts will be made to collect a varied sample of bus commuters (in terms of ages, and destinations) this will be subject to availability and willingness of users to participate in the survey, and due to the anonymous nature of the online collection of responses, the researcher will not be able to ensure that the sample is indeed varied or not.
It is expected that residents living closer to the city centre will have different needs regarding public transportation than those living in outer neighbourhoods, this study will not differentiate between those, but rather get a general outlook on bus users’ views and needs.
The main dissertation topic is related to the current issues and a proposal of improvements based on the primary quantitative research and secondary research of bus systems in similar cities from other countries and comparing them with the existing Bus Connects proposal and the steps being taken towards improvement in the near future. However, it should be noted that the researcher is not an expert in the area of public transportation planning and design, this, and the limited time allocated for this study may mean that some issues are missed or would be beneficial to be looked into with further detail.
Time constraints for completing the dissertation could prove to be a challenge, due to the number of participants required to complete the primary research and the time needed to analyse the information and data collected as well as for the secondary research. This time limitation also influences the depth of the research and analysis that can realistically be performed in such a complex and wide topic such as bus public transportation characteristics, that usually requires years of planning and design. Hence it is expected that further research may be relevant into some if not all the individual factors analysed.
It is important to note that the study carried out was based on adult individuals’ experiences, and does take into consideration children, elderly or family travelling situations and needs. Similarly, it does not differentiate any experiences that bus users with disabilities may have.
It is worth noting also that since the Bus Connects proposals issued by NTA are under a first round of public consultation process, and no final project has been decided on at this stage, in fact, a second draft followed by another round of public consultation is expected for 2019. Therefore, the proposal is likely to be amended, not only through the duration of this study, but also in the next coming years, and thus, some of the findings from this study may be altered.
- Context for the Research:
- Aims of this Research:
- Rationale for the Research:
- 4Dissertation Structure
- Limitations to the Research
- 2 Literature Review
- 1 Literature Introduction
- 2 Dublin’s expected growth in the near future
- 3 Housing Shortage
- 4 Commuting into and out of Dublin City centre
- 5 Agile Cities
- 6 Other cities
- 7 Plans for changes in Bus system
- 8Literature Conclusion
- 3 Research Methodology
- 1 Research Strategy
- 2 Population and Sampling
- 3 Data Collection and Data Analysis
- 4 Ethical Issues
- 4 Data Analysis and Findings
- 5 Discussion
- 1 Bus Accessibility and Housing Decisions
- 2 Bus Users’ needs and Bus Connects Proposal
- 3 Mobile Applications for Buses in Dublin
- 4 Bus Fares
- 6 Conclusions and Recommendations
- Appendix A
- Appendix B 59
- Appendix C 60
- Appendix D 61
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