I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 80 together.
The House is aware that the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes recommended the termination of the Rural Transport Programme. The Government has considered all of the recommendations in the Special Group's Report in the context of the Budget for 2010, which will be presented to the House later today.
On rural transport generally, it is important that existing resources in this area are utilised as cost-effectively as possible and in that context a number of initiatives are currently underway in the country exploring the potential for improved synergies between existing transport providers, namely, the Health Service Executive for health transport, the Department of Education and Science for school transport, Bus Éireann, Pobal for Rural Transport Programme services and other transport providers, such as the Irish Wheelchair Association. These initiatives involve pilot transport projects in the North East and North West, an exercise to map all transport services in County Louth and a cross-border pilot rural community transport project under the auspices of the British/Irish Council. The outcome of these initiatives will feed into the process for developing rural transport policy into the future.
The Public Transport Regulation Act 2009 introduces a modern framework for public transport services, including rural public transport services.