Granard - Longford Local Link evening service extended until March. National Transport Authority (NTA) will review service in March 2019 after which a decision will be taken regarding future funding.
The Granard - Longford Local Link bus service, 865, which travels via Ballinalee and Ennybegs, will continue to run until March 31, 2019.
Originally, it was intended that the pilot Local Link service would end on December 31, 2018 after which the NTA (National Transport Authority) would review the results of it.
The Granard - Longford Local Link bus service, 865, was one of 65 additional services across rolled out across the country last Summer and the services run typically on Friday and Saturday, between the hours of 6pm to 11pm.
Embattled Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Shane Ross, TD, who has come under pressure from many rural Ministers and TDs for recent legislation that has been introduced, this morning announced the 3 month pilot extension to the evening and late night public transport services in rural areas.
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Minister Ross said, “I am pleased that almost all of the evening services will continue to run until March 31, 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.”
The Local Link initiative was in recognition of the importance of addressing social isolation and unmet transport needs in rural areas during evening/night-time hours.
Minister Ross concluded, "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."