Wednesday, 4 February 2004

Ceisteanna (199)

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

289 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport the extent to which he can facilitate travel facilities for the elderly in rural communities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3417/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport)

My Department is currently funding a rural transport initiative, RTI, under which 34 rural community groups are being financed to operate pilot rural transport projects in their areas. The purpose of the initiative is to provide as wide a range of experience as possible in the provision of transport services in rural Ireland, including services for older people.

The RTI is now operational in almost all counties and some 2,500 transport services are being provided on approximately 380 new rural routes established under the initiative with 20,000 people now using the RTI transport services every month. The free travel scheme of the Department of Social and Family Affairs was extended to the RTI in July 2003.