A jump of 13 per cent in passenger numbers on Bus Éireann services across the city, according to figures released this week, is "further evidence" that "proper investment" and a strategic plan to develop bus services in Galway is "urgently needed".
This is the view of Sinn Féin Galway City East councillor Mairéad Farrell. She pointed out that the percentage of bus users in the city is twice the national average, which stands at 6.3 per cent.
She pointed out that young people, workers, students, and the elderly in Galway City East rely on the Headford Road, Tuam Road, Dublin Road and Old Monivea Road services. However the absence of a bus going across the Quincentennial Bridge; the need for more services in Knocknacarra; and not enough sector-targeted bus routes such as provision for cross-city school buses and workers from the west/centre of the city over to factories in Parkmore and Ballybrit, are all issues which, she said, remain to addressed.
Cllr Farrell has called for an appropriate public transport plan for Galway that involves more and larger buses, further routes, and extra stops. "We need to help clear this city's traffic congestion," she said. "It's of benefit to the environment and to people's quality of life. This sharp increase in demand for bus services is the evidence that this is not only possible, but that where public transport options are available, people are more than happy to use them."