LEAP points

This Beta Project looks at whether we could further highlight the existing transport connections in Dublin by creating ‘local mobility nodes’, and whether such a concept would help us with future transport infrastructure decisions. We’re calling these ‘Leap Points’.

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Current Situation / Awareness of Issue

The Reverse Traffic PyramidMore than ever, people in Dublin are hopping from one mode of transport to another. For example…

  • They’re walking for a while then hopping onto a Dublin Bike for the rest of their journey.
  • Or they’re getting of an inter-city train into Dublin, catching a Luas, and then finishing their journey on a Dublin Bike.
  • Or they’re driving to a park-and-ride and then catching a train.
  • Or they walk or cycle to a nearby car-sharing (ie car club) station.
  • Or they’re catching a bus, and then transferring to another.
  • Or they’re generally cycling their own bike, but instead hopping onto a Dublin Bike on Fridays when they’re heading to the pub after work with colleagues.

Such patterns are essential for a transport system (and a city) to work well, so can we further support people with their journeys, make it easier for them, or more enjoyable?

Could we also attempt to help people to more easily move about in a healthier way – whether for the health of our citizens (mindsbodieslungs, etc), or Dublin City, or for the global environment in which we all live?

The above ‘reverse traffic pyramid’ mirrors Dublin City Council’s current 2011-2017 Development Plan – which looks to find ways to make it easier for people to use transport options nearer the top more often than nearer the bottom – as they’re healthier for both people and places.


What hard numbers do we have to support our understanding

From a recent DIT survey, 12-35% of bus users make a connection as part of their journey (to another bus, train, tram, Dublin Bike, etc). Those papers can be read here and here

“Those figures are surprisingly high and demonstrate that there’s a currently high latent demand for transfers which currently may not be served.”  David O’Connor, Lecturer in Transport and Urban Design, DIT School of Spatial Planning.


What we will do / what we are doing / what we did Leap Logo - TweakedFor this ‘local mobility station’, we’re using the working title of ‘LEAP Point’ – mirroring Ireland’s integrated-transport Leap Card. It’s very catchy name, and so perfect for this concept, and it also addresses the same issue – integration of a mobility network. However, if you’ve any other suggestions, please let us know in the comments below!

(For the ultimate vision for such an integrated mobility card – see Helsinki’s visionary mobility-on-demand concept.)

Back in 2001, Dublin City Council devised the Outer Orbital Route along the canals in order to…

  • Overlay a layer of order and legibility on top of what was already there. Everything already existed (existing roads, road names, and junctions) except for the concept. 
  • Simplify the existing (replacing a myrid of signs with only a few).
  • Attempt to create a ‘sticky’ concept – one which people immediately understood (once a few hiccups were cleared) – and has therefore very possibly influenced transport decisions since.


The aim for the ‘Leap Point’ is very similar…

  • Highlight mobility options and mobility network options that already exist.
  • Look to simplify getting around in Dublin.
  • Attempt to create a ‘sticky’ concept which will influence both citizens and City Council future decisions. (For example if we were to roll out onstreet bicycle pumps in the city, where would we put them? At the moment, we’d end up picking locations in a relatively arbitrary fashion. If neighbourhood Leap Points existed, they would make for a natural and obvious location.)

Consider the area around Connolly Station. That major transport hub contains tram, local rail, intercity rail, local buses, intercity buses, bikesharing (Dublin Bikes), carsharing (GoCar), airport connections, etc. It acts as an information and connection point between all of those different modes of transport, and for many people acts as the ‘entry point’ to that area of the city (ie that’s where they get off their tram, train, bus) and move on to their final destination (their workplace, or home, or so forth). 

A Leap Point might be like a miniature version of such an idea, and equally might act as one of the ‘entry point’ to a neighbourhood. Many of these already exist – except we don’t name them as such, and so they’re rarely perceived as such.

Some examples

An urban version – Ranelagh Triangle (Tram, Buses, Taxi Rank, CarSharing, etc)

A suburban version – Coolock Village (Arterial and Orbital bus routes within 140m but around a corner so not readily perceived)

Some other examples of existing situations from around the city (we know if we look that we’ll start seeing plenty of other ones also – suggestions of other locations in the comments below would be great)…

    • Markets Area (tram, bus, bicycle parking, electric car charge point, disabled parking, bikesharing, carsharing, taxi rank, etc)
    • Smithfield  (tram, bus, bicycle parking, bikesharing, carsharing, taxi rank, etc)
    • Heuston Station (intercity rail, local rail, local bus, tram, bicycle parking, electric car charge point, disabled parking, bikesharing, carsharing, taxi rank, etc)
    • James Street
    • Grantham Street (bus, bicycle parking, electric car charge point, bikesharing, carsharing, taxi rank, etc)
    • Clontarf Road (local rail, bus, carsharing)
    • Navan Road (park and ride, bus, local rail)
    • Tara Street  (intercity rail, local rail, local bus, bicycle parking, electric car charge point, disabled parking, bikesharing, carsharing, taxi rank, etc)
    • Connolly Station  (intercity rail, local rail, intercity bus, local bus, tram, bicycle parking, electric car charge point, disabled parking, bikesharing, carsharing, taxi rank, etc)
    • Castleknock Road (intercity rail, local rail, local bus, bicycle parking, bicycle lockers, walking route, etc)

Here’s an experimental bus station in Paris, France. As this article describes…

This experimental bus station in France is using some innovative features to help enhance the bus traveller’s experience. The experimental Station Diderot at Boulevard Diderot in Paris is a project by designer Marc Aurel where anyone waiting on the bus there can order a coffee while they’re waiting, borrow a book, listen to music, recharge their phone, purchase food to take away, buy a bus ticket, get information about the neighborhood, and rent a bike.

Paris Experimental Bus StopParis Experimental Bus Stop 2

There’s also the concept of Mobil Punkt (translating simply as “Mobility Point”) in Bremen, Germany. Here’s some information on it translated from German to English and some photos below.


At its essence you could argue that it’s simply a conscious decision to group various transport options (in the below case; bicycle stands, a bus stop, and a car club/carsharing station) loosely together.

They can all be added separately and what ties it together is the “mobil.punkt” monolith ‘signpost’ which means that very little additional street furniture needs to be added to the public street space.

mobil punkt 2

We’ll be putting a very basic box (which was made in Dublin City Council’s Joinery Workshop) and which we’ll use as a ‘platform’ to help discuss the above.

Box being made in DCC Joinery Workshop

The main reason for it being a simple box is that it provides a nice blank canvas for debate and trialling of ideas on the sides.

It’s also obvious that it’s simply functional and so we haven’t wasted time making a precious and beautiful object – we know we can do that later if this concept  takes off, and when we know more about what people think it should be. Knowing that time, energy and money hasn’t been invested also makes it much easier if we wish to pull this idea apart entirely.

This box is a big, clunky, physical object which will occupy street space (and create more pavement clutter). Perhaps the final Leap Point concept will only require a slender pole similar to a bus stop, or perhaps it won’t need any physical presence at all and could be an app. Or perhaps local mobility nodes will be of such high-value to Dublin City, that we’ll gladly accept this extra piece of clutter. Who knows.

This is the trial location that we’re currently looking at…

How would you change / improve the idea

Can we…

  1. Amplify network effects by…
    1. Forming a lens for existing mobility options.
    2. Providing a focus for location of new mobility additions.
    3. Moving mobility nodes closer to neighbourhood nodes.
  2. Aims to move citizens’ mobility choices gradually up the inverted pyramid by…
    1. Highlighting network options and interchange transfers
    2. Providing mobility information
    3. Generating clear nodes in people’s ‘mind maps’.
    4. Improving transport experience
  3. Acts as both a ‘mobility gateway’ and ‘mobility node’ in neighbourhoods.
    1. Community Information

What do you think should be located at a ‘Leap Point’? And just as importantly – why?

  1. Resting
    1. Benches
  2. Walking
    1. Walk Times Maps
    2. Calories burned
    3. Health info on BMI
  3. Cycling
    1. Cycle Times Maps
    2. Calories burned
    3. Health info on BMI
    4. Private bike parking
    5. Cargo bike parking?
    6. Secure bike parking?
    7. Bike Pump
    8. Bike Repair Kit
    9. Bike Repair shops in the area
  4. Bike-Sharing
    1. Dublin Bike station
  5. Public Transport
    1. Dublin Transport Map
    2. Leap Card Information
    3. QR codes to download transport apps
    4. Transport info (tickets, etc)
    5.  Bus
    6. Tram / Train (Luas, DART, Commuter, etc)
    7. Hit The Road “from here to X” link
    8. Specialist transport options such as Buses to Dublin Mountains
  6. Trip-Sharing / Car-Pooling
    1. Carma / Wundercar information
    2. Meet point
  7. Car-Sharing / Car-Club
    1. GoCar information
    2. GoBase locations
  8. Moped and Motorbike
    1. Moped / motorbike parking
  9. Driving
    1. Disabled spaces
    2. Electric car parking & charging
    3. Car parking
    4. Car Repair Shops in the area
  10. Comparisons of various modes
    1. Time (including parking)
    2. Health (calories etc)
    3. Cost
  11. Transport Experience
    1. QR or NFC library
    2. Free little libraryBooks-bus stop
  12. Neighbourhood / Community
    1. Does this move the idea towards being a “Leap & Local Point” and is that useful?
    2. Lost & Found point
    3. Wayfinding map
    4. Would it make a good location for aGeveltuin“? (What the Dutch call a ‘lost and found’ spot – thanks to Daryl Mulvihill for sending on.)
    5. Walkscore of a neighbourhood
    6. Walk Appeal of area
    7. Parks and playgrounds in an area
    8. A community notice board?Paris Cyclinder Advertisments
  13. Wider transport messages?


When will the trial start / when will it end / key milestones

  • Start: Pending
  • End: TBC



What are our assumptions and how will we know if we are correct

This project will be measured against a selection of these metrics.


Who are the key people involved in the trial

  • Shane Waring, Dublin City Council.
  • Note: Shane was a founder of GoCar which is mentioned above and which is currently Ireland’s only car club/carsharing service. He set it up during a career break from Dublin City Council and is no longer involved in the running of that company, or holds any shareholding in the company. The experience gained from the setup, running, and handover, of that company helped him establish Dublin City Council Beta Projects.


How much will the project cost / DCC staff time

This project has minimal financial costs associated with it (€750) and required an initial amount of circa 15 hours of staff time during preparation.


What were the measures of success / what did we learn 

We will review this project, and issue a Report Card at the end of the trial.



About Dublin City Council beta

Dublin City Council are trying a new method called DCC Beta Projects...your input, then quick trials 'on the street', then your feedback! We'd LOVE your help!
This entry was posted in 1. Identity, Communication & Ownership, 3. Moving About, Beta Project macro, Moving About and Resting, Public Realm, Shane and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to LEAP points

  1. Pingback: LEAP points | Latest News

  2. David says:

    I think one of the key issues with encouraging people to cycle in Dublin is that the bike lanes don’t join up. To get to wherever I want to go in Dublin I usually have to dismount at traffic lights, cross and join another road or face a long trek around a one way system not designed for peddle power. E.g. coming north along the quays after o connell bridge there is no right turn for miles to cross the river. The quays offer the perfect route for cyclists but in my opinion they are very dangerous and should have a segregated bike lane. Dublin bus prices are hugely expensive and its very difficult to figure out the routes even using the app. I’ve been living in Dublin I’ve got a bus only a handful of times because it’s too difficult to work out where they go. There are some very basic things that Dublin transport needs to sort out first (cost, transfers!! and user friendliness of buses) before worrying about leap points.

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