General Industry

Connecting Ireland Introduces 38 New And Enhanced Bus Services

By Dave Simpson
Connecting Ireland Introduces 38 New And Enhanced Bus Services

According to a National Transport Authority (NTA) review of the first year of Connecting Ireland, 38 new and enhanced bus services have been introduced since this time last year when Connecting Ireland was first launched.


Connecting Ireland is the national plan to deliver more and better public transport for rural communities.

According to a statement published on, over the past year, there have been 13 brand new services, 16 routes on which frequency has been increased and nine route extensions, resulting in more than 50 new towns and an extra 110,000 weekly vehicle kilometres being added to the public transport network.

More than 250,000 people in 187 locations now have access to new and enhanced services. This year, the Connecting Ireland plan is to roll out 67 new and enhanced bus services, meaning that in the first two years of the five-year plan, there should be 104 new or improved services in operation – or one for every week of the two-year period.

Statements By Transport Minister

The statement published on quoted Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan as saying, "While we know we still have a long way to go in transport, the evidence of consistent positive change in public transport and in active travel speaks volumes about the huge effort already underway across the country to deliver the large-scale transformation envisioned by the Sustainable Mobility Policy.


"This policy was launched last April, about the same time that the first Connecting Ireland service, the newly enhanced 176 Cavan – Monaghan was launched providing greater frequency and increased services to Cavan General Hospital. It was the first of 13 brand new services and many others providing greater frequency and extension and helping to increase passenger journeys on enhanced services by a massive 93%.

"There have been many other significant developments. Take Athlone for example, Earlier this year, it became the first town in Ireland, as part of the Pathfinder Programme, to operate an all-electric bus fleet. Over the summer, Athlone will have a new active travel bridge across the Shannon, providing a critical local link for walking and cycling as well as a strategically important milestone in the delivery of the Dublin to Galway Greenway. Athlone perfectly represents what is happening up and down the country. Nationwide, local authorities are looking to make their town centres more attractive, safe and accessible. They are slowly re-balancing the dominance of cars in favour of health and well-being outcomes for residents and visitors alike."

Minister Ryan also spoke about significant investment being made in the delivery of new rolling stock for rails services, with 185 new DART+ fleet carriages scheduled to start arriving in 2024, alongside the first of a number of new DART services scheduled to start to Drogheda in 2025.

Read More: Bus Journeys In Dublin Exceeded Pre-Pandemic Levels In March

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