Two local areas have been picked for a new subsidised hackney service in rural areas.
Ballon in Carlow and Freshford in Kilkenny are among 21 spots where the pilot scheme will see grant funding made available to successful applicants over a 12 month period.
Applications are open until the end of February and the scheme will operate on a pre-booked basis collecting passengers within a designated area of seven to ten kilometres from a chosen point.
Minister Eamon Ryan at the launch said “One of our key priorities in transport is to improve connectivity across rural Ireland in particular, not just in towns, but in the areas around those towns where so many people live and farm. This pilot responds to the reality of rural life in Ireland, in a creative and local-based way, connecting people from their doors to local towns, healthcare centres, the post-offices, or onto other transport stops and hubs.”
Junior Minister and Carlow Kilkenny Green TD Malcolm Noonan said; “Improving connectivity across rural Ireland is a key priority for the Greens in government, not just in towns, but in the areas around those towns where so many people live and farm. This pilot is a welcome development that responds in a really practical way to the reality of Irish rural living.
“In tandem with the increase in local link bus services it’s creating additional transport options to connect people from their doors to their local towns, healthcare centres, post-offices and training centres, or onto other transport stops and hubs. It has the potential to offer a safe, reliable and much-needed transport service, and create a part-time employment opportunity for people living locally.”
While CEO of the National Transport Authority, Anne Graham, says her organisation is “Proud to launch this pilot programme, which will help people in rural communities across Ireland, giving them access to a safe, reliable, part-time local hackney service in their area. I would encourage anyone with a suitable and appropriately insured vehicle, who has an interest in assisting their community to submit an application for this pilot programme.”
For more see LocalHackney.ie