The plan called ‘Connecting Ireland Plan’ was published on October, 29th and it proposes a 25% increase in bus services in rural areas and is to boost connectivity in rural Ireland.
“A frequent, reliable, and direct public transport system is key to reducing rural isolation as well as reducing our dependency on cars, as we work towards our climate goals and net-zero emissions target,” said Green Party Spokesperson for Transport, Climate Action, and Environment, Brian Leddin TD, as per the press release.
Leddin TD added that more than 70 percent of those living outside of cities would have access to public transport services, and the plan is to run at least three return trips every day except for the weekends to a neighbouring town.
“We have made a commitment in Government to a ‘Town Centres First’ policy that will bring life and vibrancy back to our regional towns and rural villages. This is only possible if we have a robust public transport system in place. This will enable not only businesses to thrive but will make living in rural communities a more viable option for those looking for alternatives to our cities,” said Senator Róisín Garvey, Green Party Spokesperson for Rural Development and Enterprise, Trade and Employment said at the press release.
While developing the plan, the NTA engaged with stakeholders such as public bodies and state agencies. In the future, more public consultation and webinars with local authorities and Oireachtas are stated to be the next step.
Garvey said, “we need the input and voices of rural Ireland at the heart of this plan in order to get it right.”