New door-to-door bus services are due to be rolled out within a month in the Oranmore and Maree areas following a series of meetings.
The South East Galway IRD invited members of the public to attend meetings in Oranmore and Maree earlier this week to discuss the lack of sufficient local transport and other issues such as isolation in rural areas.
A service on Fridays will collect people in the outlying areas of Oranmore, bringing them into the centre of the village and remaining there for two hours to allow customers to complete their shopping and other errands and return home.
The second service will be on the first and third Saturdays of every month, collecting passengers from their homes in Maree and Oranmore and bringing them into Galway city centre and back again. A third service will collect people in the Maree area and bring them into Oranmore.
According to the manager of SE Galway IRD Ursula Marmion the meetings on Monday and Tuesday were very well attended, proving that that there is a need for improvements in local transport services. These door-to-door bus services are vital for the elderly in particular who often feel isolated and can use these services to reconnect with neighbours and regain more independence.
“All the services are literally door-to-door and can be booked a day in advance. That’s what makes it different from other bus services. Free travel pass for pensioners and people with disabilities is accepted. You’ll find that a lot of young people or women who are without a car use the service a lot too. There was a very good turnout to the meetings. The problem is although there is regular bus services like Bus Eireann, people in outlying areas can’t get into the town or the city to use it. For many our bus services become a kind of social outlet, it’s a very big by-product,” she said.
A meeting was held in Suaimhneas, Clarinbridge, last night and another meeting will be held tonight at 8.30pm in Bradley’s, Labane. For more information contact the Local Bus on 090-9741867.