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  • News

New initiatives to improve rural transport

Friday, 17th May, 2019 3:37pm
New initiatives to improve rural transport

The minister aims to keep public transport at the top of his priorities. .

New initiatives to improve rural transport

The minister aims to keep public transport at the top of his priorities. .

New initiatives to improve the transport options for people living in rural areas were announced this week by Minister Shane Ross, Minister of State Brendan Griffin, Anne Graham of the National Transport Authority, and Deputy Martin Heydon.

 

Minister Ross said: “People in rural Ireland need to be able to get from A to B; to work, to socialise and to ensure that their communities thrive and prosper in every way. I am very conscious that there are gaps in public transport and that is why I tasked the National Transport Authority (NTA) to look at how we can best address the needs of people living in rural Ireland. It’s why I increased funding for Local Link services from €12.2 million in 2016 to €21 million this year, enabling the introduction of new regular rural services, improvements to demand responsive services, as well as the piloting of new evening and late night services. I have listened to the concerns of people up and down the country and I pledge that I will continue to keep rural public transport at the top of my priorities.”

 

 

 

It was announced this week that following the piloting of evening and late night Local Link services which began last aummer, that all performing services will continue, with funding provided to the end of this year.  The pilot was initially to run until December last but following a review carried out by the NTA, the pilot was extended to end Q1 2019 to enable the services to gain traction locally and to be trusted as a reliable public transport service. The decision to continue the services comes after a further review by the NTA. The services that are continuing comprise 36 Demand Responsive services and 23 extensions to existing regular public transport services and are being provided nationally across all 26 counties.

 

Two new pilot schemes were also announced. The first relates to the Local Area Hackney Scheme which was first introduced in December 2013 to enable a part-time hackney service to be provided in rural areas which are too small to support a full time taxi or hackney operations. The second initiative will see funding provided to pilot a Community Transport Service project in each of the fifteen Local Link Office areas, at a cost of €5,000 per project for a twelve month period. 

 

The NTA expects that a call for applications for both pilot schemes will be made by Local Link Offices next month

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