Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
178. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if she plans to have a public consultation with islanders in relation to possible improvements to ferry and air services to the islands in view of the increasing mobility of persons and the demand for improved services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [53473/21]
I have met with Island representative groups on a number of occasions to date and my Departmental officials meet with the Island representative groups on an ongoing basis regarding the subsidised transport services to the islands. These meetings give the island communities the opportunity to highlight any issues they may have with an existing service and also to highlight changes that may lead to improvements in future tender requests.
Given the constant emergence of new technologies coupled with an increase in islander’s expectations the Department updates its tender requests to take advantage of any new innovations or practices that may result in improved services. Marketing and patronage maximisation plans aimed at increasing route traffic volumes and making services easier to access and more affordable form a central part of the service contracts.