Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Questions (933)

Seán Kenny


933. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost of adapting the entire Bus Éireann fleet to being fully wheelchair accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1168/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

My Department provides funding to the National Transport Authority (NTA) for the development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) which includes a rolling programme of bus replacement and refurbishment of the Bus Éireann PSO fleet both in the GDA and nationally.

Accessibility is built into all new public transport infrastructure projects and vehicles from the design stage and this has enabled all Bus Éireann's regional cities fleet to be 100% wheelchair accessible. In addition, approximately 65% of the Bus Éireann coach fleet is wheelchair accessible by lift.

My Department also funds an ongoing programme of accessibility improvement grants to upgrade existing public transport infrastructure and facilities.  Most Bus Éireann bus stations have received accessibility upgrades under this Programme and funding has also been allocated for a number of wheelchair accessible bus stops. 

The Accessibility Grants Programme is being managed by the NTA on behalf of my Department.  I understand from the Authority that replacement of non-wheelchair accessible vehicles for Bus Éireann's subsidised services would cost in the region of €90 million.