According to a statement published on Gov.ie, Minister of Transport Eamon Ryan has announced that the Department of Transport and National Transport Authority (NTA) will provide emergency public transport services to Ukrainian refugees who are placed in rural locations.
According to the statement published on Gov.ie, the department and the NTA will accelerate a series of network improvements identified through the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan public consultation to support increased overall demand for public transport services, and improvements include additional stops, route modifications, and more services with the aim to increase connectivity for individuals who are based outside of bigger towns and cities.
This acceleration serves a dual purpose by both catering for existing demand and responding to increased pressures on services where the local population has grown in response to the humanitarian crisis, according to the statement published on Gov.ie, which also said that, to support Ukrainian refugees who are housed away from existing public transport services, the NTA will provide supplementary transport connections to local centres, and that this will allow better access to a range of amenities and to onward public transport connections to larger centres.
Statements By Minister Ryan
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The statement published on Gov.ie included a statement from Minister Ryan that said, "We want to be a welcoming country and an accessible country to our Ukrainian guests. My department and the National Transport Authority are working closely with TFI Local Link offices in rural Ireland to mobilise all available resources to strengthen our existing public transport services. We are doing this practically and quickly by adding extra stops and routes where a need has been identified. We want to ensure that passengers have access to essential services such as shopping centres, places of employment, and medical centres."
Minister Ryan added, "As we continue to welcome individuals and families arriving in Ireland from Ukraine, a once-off Community Transport Fund will also be established to support occasional social travel requests. It is vital that our guests do not feel isolated while they are with us and that they are supported with public transport to join in the many activities that are available in our towns, in particular activities focused on youth, integration, culture and education."
The statement published on Gov.ie also noted that the accelerated bus services coming on stream are part of the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan, which is a major national public transport initiative to increase public transport connectivity, particularly for people who live outside major cities and towns, on a phased basis from 2022 to 2025, and that Connecting Ireland is funded by the Department of Transport and managed by the NTA.
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