As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area, including bus fleet procurement.
The Deputy is aware that Project Ireland 2040 commits toward ending the purchase of diesel-only buses of our urban PSO bus fleets from July 2019 onward. The NTA has very recently advertised its intent to enter into a new bus purchase framework agreement which reflects that commitment and seeks to purchase hybrid buses for next year.
The medium and longer term approach to the NTA's procurement of low-carbon buses will be informed by a range of matters, including the outcomes of trials of low-emission buses, being conducted for my Department. Those trials, which are expected to conclude in the coming weeks, are examining a range of alternatives including electric, diesel-electric hybrid, hydrogen, compressed natural gas/biogas and retrofitted diesel buses to Euro VI-class standard.
I am pleased to see fulfilment of our commitment to ending the purchase of diesel-only buses for the urban PSO bus fleets and am satisfied that our on-going research on the medium and longer term technology potential will inform the NTA's approach to its bus purchase programme in the years ahead.