Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton, the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Bus Éireann have announced the start of four new and improved bus routes linking Limerick to its hinterland and nationally, under the new Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan, as well as three enhanced routes in the north-east of the country, according to a statement published on Gov.ie.
The statement published on Gov.ie quotes Minister Ryan as saying, “The government is very conscious of the need to connect people and places in rural as well as urban areas, with accessible, integrated and sustainable public transport. The type of connections being announced in Limerick today demonstrate our commitment to linking towns and cities, and providing improved access to centres of employment, education, healthcare and retail.
“New routes, more routes, and enhanced capacity on our public transport network – in addition to the fare reductions introduced by the government – will make it easier for people to be able to access and choose public transport as their preferred way of travelling this winter.”
The statement published on Gov.ie quotes Minister Naughton as saying, “We are very much facing the unknown as we enter a winter of uncertainty, presented to us from the global energy crisis. We in government are committed to doing absolutely everything in our power to support households and businesses through what are incredibly turbulent times. The delivery of 1.7 million new kilometres of bus services being announced today provides a choice for people living and working in the Midwest and the north-east regions. They now have the choice of public transport that was previously not available to them. They now have the choice to keep more of their own money by using less energy through opting for public transport.”
Minister Naughton continued, “Under Connecting Ireland, we are aiming to increase public transport connectivity for rural Ireland. Public transport is not only an environmentally friendly option, but also socially inclusive, and can be a cheaper way to get around. Today’s announcement has a far-reaching benefit for households, communities and businesses across ten counties, with 72 towns and villages benefitting from enhanced services and connectivity. Our plan is to increase public transport connectivity, particularly for people living outside our major cities and towns.”
The statement published on Gov.ie quotes NTA CEO Anne Graham as saying, “The Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan, which has been developed by the NTA, aims to increase public transport connectivity, particularly for people living outside major cities and towns. With the launch of four new routes linking locations across Limerick and its hinterland, and three enhanced services in the north-east, people in more towns and villages have the option of using public transport services, which are now more frequent and reliable.”
The statement published on Gov.ie quotes Bus Éireann CEO Stephen Kent as saying, “We at Bus Éireann are delighted to introduce these new and improved services from Sunday 23 October, significantly increasing access to public transport. Thanks to the National Transport Authority, through the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan, we are creating almost 50 new jobs. Demand for our services is higher now than pre-pandemic, and these new routes and services enable us to connect more people with who and what matters to them. We will continue to work together with the NTA to enhance connectivity across the country, delivering an affordable, reliable and sustainable bus service for communities throughout Ireland.”
Details about the new services are available at buseireann.ie.