Dáil Éireann - Volume 542 - 17 October, 2001
Written Answers. - Public Transport.
Mr. Sargent Mr. Sargent
90. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Public Enterprise the progress being made to implement rural transport services in areas around the country such as Fingal in Dublin north. [24542/01]
Mrs. O'Rourke Mrs. O'Rourke
Minister for Public Enterprise (Mrs. O'Rourke): The issue of rural public transport is one in which I have a particular interest and this is why I arranged for a provision of £3.5 million to be included in the national development plan for the funding of pilot rural public transport projects.
On 2 July last I launched the rural transport initiative – RTI – which aims to promote and support the development of innovative, community-based pilot public transport projects in rural areas. Area Development Management Limited – ADM – is administering this initiative on behalf of my Department.
The initiative was widely publicised earlier in the year through the issuing of a consultation document on the subject. The closing date for applications was 17 September last and the proposals received are now being assessed in line with the eligibility and other criteria governing it. The RTI is one of a number of pilot developments being taken to address the issue of public transport in rural Ireland.
In conjunction with my Department, the directors of community and enterprise of each county are engaged in drawing up an audit of public  transport services and needs throughout the country, including Fingal. This audit has already been piloted in four counties – Kerry, Mayo, Laois and Westmeath – with a view to bringing that experience to bear in the auditing of the other counties. It is hoped to have the work completed by the end of this year.
In addition, a new interdepartmental committee, chaired by an official of my Department, was established recently to bring forward recommendations for a rural public transport policy. Among other things, the committee will draw on the experience gained from the pilot projects under the rural transport initiative and will take on board the results of the county audits in completing its work.
Dáil Éireann 542 Written Answers. Public Transport.