I am advised that at the request of the Minister of State at the Department of Health, with responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Mr. Jim Daly, TD, a meeting took place on 6th February last, with the National Transport Authority (NTA), at which my Department was also represented.
I understand that a number of issues in relation to transport in rural areas were discussed, including the proposal for a rural taxi service. The NTA has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public transport services nationally and also has national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including management of Local Link. It is also the regulator for the taxi industry.
At my request, the NTA is examining the potential to further improve rural transport provision and in this regard is particularly examining ways to improve and support the Local Area Hackney and Community Transport Services schemes.