Monday 21 January 2019
Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Shane Ross, TD is pleased to announce a 3 month pilot extension to the evening and late night public transport services in rural areas.
“I am pleased that almost all of the evening services will continue to run until 31 March 2019. Tackling rural isolation and providing the means for people to meet, socialise and attend events is extremely important. I would encourage people to use their Local Links as much as possible so we can continue to provide, and hopefully increase, this very useful service.”
This follows from the Ministers initiative last year when he asked the NTA to examine the potential to extend existing Local Link services, to provide additional services in the evenings. The Ministers initiative was in recognition of the importance of addressing social isolation and unmet transport needs in rural areas during evening/night-time hours.
Since last summer a total of 65 additional services across all 26 counties have been running on average from 6pm to 11pm typically on Friday and Saturday. Originally, it was intended that the pilot would end on 31 December 2018 after which the NTA would review the results of it.
In its initial review the NTA found that the majority of the services are performing well, particularly as it took time for some of these new services to be developed. Also, it was felt that a 6 month pilot was a relatively short period within which to gauge passenger usage and trends. The NTA will therefore conduct a further review of the performance of these services in March 2019 after which a decision will be taken regarding future funding for these services.