Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty has urged TDs to back Sinn Féin’s motion to deliver accessible, affordable, reliable and safe public transport in Donegal.
The motion, to be raised in the Dáil this week, would transform public transport in Donegal including extending the 20% public transport fare reduction to commercial bus operators, accelerating progress on the Connecting Ireland rural bus plan and aiding cross-border travel on public transport.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said: “Sinn Féin has a detailed, fully costed plan to deliver accessible, affordable and reliable public transport across the country. This would include extending the 20% public transport fare reduction to commercial bus operators, accelerating progress on the Connecting Ireland rural bus plan and aiding cross-border travel on public transport.
“We know all too well in Donegal how our community is let down by public transport. We largely must rely on commercial bus services and, as such, we generally have been unable to avail of the 20% fare reduction for public transport. Therefore, it is imperative that this 20% fare reduction is extended to commercial bus operators.
“As well as this, the great number of Donegal students who go to schools, colleges and universities in the north can’t avail of the benefits of a Student Leap Card. This must be addressed as well.
“All too often buses have also been cancelled for a range of operational issues causing significant disruption to people’s lives in Donegal. Our motion calls on the government to commit to the urgent rollout of the Connecting Ireland rural bus plan. It sets out how to deliver better regulation of public transport providers to ensure services are punctual and reliable.
“The delivery of the All-Island Strategic Rail Review that’s now being overseen by Sinn Féin’s Minister John O’Dowd and an allocation of funding to kick start the delivery of the Western Railway Corridor would also provide the type of access to public transport that people in Donegal have had to go without for too long..
Deputy Doherty continued: “It’s clear that the public transport system is failing far too many people due to years of under-investment from government after government. It’s time for leadership and for a detailed plan to ensure that the public transport system finally meets the needs of passengers across the entire state.
“It is an opportunity to ensure a just transition towards environmental sustainability, by encouraging more people to use public transport. Better connecting our villages, towns and cities can also boost the economy across the island.
“All TDs must back our plan and ensure that this investment can begin as soon as possible. It’s time for accessible, affordable and reliable public transport in Donegal.”