National Transport Authority
|State Agency of the Department of Transport overview|
|Formed||1 December 2009|
|Preceding State Agency of the Department of Transport|
|Jurisdiction||Greater Dublin Area, Ireland|
|Headquarters||Dún Scéine, Harcourt Lane, Dublin 2.|
|State Agency of the Department of Transport executive||
The National Transport Authority (Irish: Údarás Náisiúnta Iompair) or NTA is the transport authority for Greater Dublin and the public transport licensing agency for Ireland. It was established under the provisions of the Dublin Transport Authority Act (2008) and the Public Transport Regulation Act (2009), on 1 December 2009.
The NTA took over certain functions from the Department of Transport and the entire role of the Dublin Transportation Office. It has also taken over the functions of the Commission for Taxi Regulation when Part 4 of the Public Transport Regulation Act (2009) commenced on 1 January 2011.
The act establishing the NTA made it a body corporate consisting of the City Manager of Dublin City Council, the Chief Executive and a member of the senior management team, and a chairman and six other members appointed by the Minister for Transport. The NTA has charge of public transport in the Greater Dublin Area, which is defined legally for the first time in the Act. The counties covered are the City of Dublin, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, South Dublin, Fingal, County Wicklow. County Kildare, and County Meath. An advisory council, consisting of local government officials and councillors, representatives of the Garda Síochána, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and business and community interests, was also established. The Public Transport Regulation Act retains this structure, though it provides that its functional area in respect of the additional functions that it is granted under that Bill its functional area is the entire state.
The NTA subsumed the activities of the former Dublin Transportation Office, which was dissolved on 1 December 2009. John Fitzgerald is chairperson of the NTA, and Anne Graham is chief executive officer.
The NTA is currently in charge of most public transport within Greater Dublin. Unlike authorities such as Transport for London and RATP it does not normally operate services itself, although there is provision for it to do so in certain circumstances. It operates Public Service Obligation contracts with transport operators, including Coras Iompair Éireann and the Railway Procurement Agency and private operators. Although the RPA was originally intended, like the DTO, to be subsumed into the NTA, a lobbying campaign by the RPA led to it retaining its separate status. The CIÉ companies (Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann and Bus Éireann) have retained their existing services but they are now subject to directions from the NTA within Greater Dublin.
A major re-branding of services took place on taxis all over Ireland and some of the fleet in both Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann during 2012 and 2013 under the name "Transport for Ireland". This trend is set to continue over the coming years.
On 6 December 2013, the NTA announced that around 10% of routes currently operated by Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann under their Direct Award contracts will be subject to competitive tendering, with a view to services commencing in 2016.
In February 2014, the NTA approved plans for a bus rapid transit network in Dublin which is expected to be fully operational by 2019.
The name of the body, under the Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008, was originally to be Dublin Transport Authority. However, In the brought forward Budget announced in October 2008, the Government announced a major review of public service bodies, with bodies being amalgamated where it was felt savings could be made. A separate national transport regulator was originally intended to be set up to licence public transport, but an annex to Budget 2009 revealed that the Government intended to incorporate both this body and the Commission for Taxi Regulation into the DTA. In an interview in The Irish Times on 14 January 2009, the Minister for Transport at the time, Noel Dempsey, confirmed this would indeed be the case.
On 23 January 2009, the Public Appointments Service advertised the position of chief executive officer of the DTA. The advertisement noted the Government's intention to "assign national responsibility to the DTA for bus market regulation and the procurement of public transport services under public service obligations" and for the DTA to take over the duties of the Commission for Taxi Regulation.
On 8 September 2009, the Public Transport Regulation Bill (2009) was published. This gave it responsibility for licensing road passenger transport services throughout the State. It also provided for the abolition of the Taxi Regulator and the transfer of its functions to the renamed National Transport Authority. This is in addition to its Dublin-specific functions granted under the DTA Act, which it retained.
On 1 October 2009, the Minister announced that the Commission for Aviation Regulation would be merged with the new authority, with certain functions of the Irish Aviation Authority also to be transferred. However, neither of these proposals actually made it into the Public Transport Regulation Act 2009, which was promulgated on 27 November 2009.
The Public Transport Regulation Act (2009) proposed to change the name of the organisation to the National Transport Authority. and this was done with effect from the establishment day of the Authority under the Public Transport Regulation Act 2009 (National Transport Authority) (Appointed Day) Order 2009,
- Part 2 of this Act having been brought into operation by S.I. 459 of 2009, the Dublin Transport Authority (Part 2) (Establishment Day) Order 2009.