TFI Local Link will launch a new bus route on Monday, August 28, aimed at improving connectivity between Athlone and Mullingar.
This new route is part of the Connecting Ireland Rural Mobility Plan which is a major national public transport initiative developed and funded by the National Transport Authority (NTA ) as part of the Transport for Ireland (TFI ) Network.
Route 819 which will operate five return trips seven days a week, is the second of two new rural regular routes which the NTA and TFI Local Link launched this summer. The route will connect villages and areas such as Drumraney, Mount Temple, Baylin, Castletown Geoghegan, Loughnavalley and Ballymore,
The new route will offer a peak-time service for commuters as well as late evening services. It will also provide improved connectivity to regional bus services and the wider TFI Network with connections at Mullingar and Athlone Irish Rail station to facilitate onward travel to Dublin, Sligo and Galway. It will also serve the FÁS Centre in Garrycastle and the Fardrum stop will connect passengers to the Athlone campus of the Technological University of the Shannon.
Additionally, this route will also serve as a link between the town of Mullingar and Belvedere House Gardens and Park, with three services a day to the Westmeath County Council Parkland amenity.
“We are delighted to launch this important link between the towns of Mullingar and Athlone. This route is a priority for our area, and it will play an important part in developing reliable connections for our passengers. We all know the importance of using sustainable modes of public transport from an environmental point of view. It is also vital that passengers have a frequent bus service which they can rely on to travel to work, college, training, sightseeing, or meeting family and friends.
“In partnership with the NTA we are working to deliver affordable, accessible, appropriate public transport for our area. The NTA is committed to the growth and development of local bus services, which in this case, is a brand-new high frequency service linking two key rural towns that will provide opportunities for people to get where they need to go,” speaking ahead of the launch, TFI Local Link General Manager, Damien O’Neill, said.
Local Fianna Fáil councillor, Frankie Keena, has warmly welcomed the announcement, noting that the new transport service would be a boost for the county.
“The TFI Local Link announcement is a major boost for those living in both Athlone and Mullingar and indeed all the identified village stops and environs along the route.
“I have been campaigning for this service for a long time and I am just thrilled that it has now been delivered. Special thanks must go to Damien O’Neill General Manager TFI Local Link Longford Westmeath Roscommon and his excellent staff for all their work in providing this service.
“The benefits of this service to those living along the route is enormous. The public will now be able to avail of this transport link between Athlone and Mullingar seven days per week, a service which will prove immensely helpful to those who wish to attend Mullingar General Hospital (as the bus service has a stop here ).
“It will also be so beneficial to the many students who attend both TUS and Athlone Training Centre as these stops are also included along the route. Apart from this, the service will be so beneficial to those who may want to visit Belevedere or Athlone Castle or indeed travel to visit a friend or do some shopping.
“The beauty of the local link bus service is that it also serves rural communities living in and surrounding villages such as Baylin, Mount Temple, Ballymore, Loughnavalley and Castletown Geoghegan and thereby cutting down their dependency on using a car. The service, I believe, will also help to reduce rural isolation for some people who have no transport by providing them with easy access to various services in either Athlone or Mullingar and I hope that it is regularly utilised from the date of its inaugural service on Monday, August 28,” Cllr Keena stated.