Written answers

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Public Transport

Photo of Claire KerraneClaire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein)
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36. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he intends to fund further rollouts of Local Link services, to meet the demand in their various areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28152/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.

In the first instance, I can assure you that the intent of all of our public transport policies is to increase the attractiveness and accessibility of public transport so we can all, including older people, disabled people, and those with mobility concerns, enjoy a sustainable and more integrated public transport network.

To address specific concerns in rural areas, the Department of Transport has secured increased funding to improve rural transport services across the country, with funding increasing from €12m in 2016 to €57m in 2024. Passenger numbers have increased from 1.76 million passengers in 2015 to 3.2 million in 2023.

The Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan is a major 5 year public transport initiative developed by the National Transport Authority (NTA) to increase connectivity outside our major cities and towns.

  • Over 100 new or additional bus routes introduced since commencement in mid-2022.
  • Phase I in 2022: 38 new and enhanced services implemented.
  • Phase II in 2023: 65 new and enhanced services implemented.
  • Over 190 towns and villages have been connected to the public transport network.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) 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 TFI Local Link services and the rollout of services under the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan.

In light of the NTA's responsibilities for new and enhanced public transport services under Connecting Ireland. I have referred your question to the NTA for direct reply to you. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

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