Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Free Travel Scheme
1059. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if correspondence (details supplied) will be reviewed; his plans to ensure the free travel pass can be accepted on LocalLink bus services in such exceptional cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3181/20]
I refer the Deputy to my answer to her previous Question on this issue (no. 36058 on 6th September 2019.)
As that reply explains, as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport; it is the National Transport Authority (NTA) that has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public passenger transport services nationally. The NTA also has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including management of the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) which now operates under the Local Link brand.
Noting this, I forwarded the Deputy’s Question to the NTA for direct reply. The NTA replied to the Deputy on 22nd October 2019 and explained that the issue she raised concerns a contractual arrangement between Local Link Cavan Monaghan and the Health Service Executive (HSE). The NTA advised the Deputy that it does not have a role to play in terms of the management of the particular service, becuase it is a HSE-funded service and not a RTP service.
The Deputy also asked about the Free Travel Scheme, and I would like to advise her that issues relating to the Free Travel Scheme are a matter coming under the remit of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.