The government has a strategic objective to provide a well functioning, integrated public transport system that:
It is important to have a defined standard of public transport that's affordable for both customer and taxpayer.
The government also has an objective to ensure the timely and cost effective delivery of the Public Transport investment programme in line with the outcomes set out in the National Development Plan 2018-2027 as part of Project Ireland 2040.
Buses and coaches are classified as Large Public Service Vehicles which include 'vehicles with capacity to carry more than eight passengers for reward'. Policy oversight for the sector focuses on the:
The National Transport Authority is the national enforcement body for bus and coach passenger rights in Ireland.
The Irish rail network currently extends to approximately 2,400 km of operational track, with over 4,400 bridges, 144 stations and 970 level crossings. It serves over 42 million passengers each year.
There is a responsibility to produce policy and legislation for the economic regulation of railways. The government ensures that the railway market in Ireland complies with EU requirements.
In order to ensure a robust regulatory regime for the railway market in Ireland, the EU requires compliance with rules concerning the establishment of a single railway area, and market access.
In particular, rules have been developed to open the markets for domestic and international rail freight and international rail passenger services. The Fourth Railway Package, which is currently under negotiation, contains further proposals for the opening of domestic markets.
Small Public Service Vehicles are vehicles with the capacity to carry up to eight passengers (excluding the driver) for reward, and include taxis, hackneys, wheelchair accessible vehicles, and limousines.
The department has responsibility for policy and statutory frameworks for the sector. The National Transport Authority (NTA) is responsible for the operational regulation of the sector.
The Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport’s (DTTAS) Sectoral Plan, under the Disability Act 2005, is called Transport Access for All (2012) This concept is based on the principle of Accessible Public Transport which does not distinguish between people with disabilities and other passengers.
At the whole of Government level,
Between these 2 Strategies, there are 19 actions for which the DTTAS, its Agencies, other State Agencies and public transport operators have lead responsibility for implementing. These Actions are primarily public transport related.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport provides funding and policy framework for the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) through the National Transport Authority (NTA). The RTP now operates under the name 'Local Link'.
The NTA was given national responsibility for integrated local and rural transport, including managing the RTP - and its restructuring - with effect from 1st April 2012. This new role for the NTA, coupled with its existing national remit for securing the provision of public passenger transport services, enables the development of better links between local/rural transport, and scheduled bus/rail services.
The new RTP delivery model offers a structure to facilitate the integration of local and rural transport services. The Transport Co-ordination Units (TCUs) will have a key role in embedding integration within transport services planning. They will also have a role in two other rural transport initiatives: the Community Car Scheme and the proposed local area hackney licence.
For the first time local authorities will have a role in transport planning as they will prepare annual transport plans for their areas, in consultation with the respective TCU.
The services offered by the RTP are included in the National Journey Planner which can be accessed at Transport for Ireland
More information about the structure and future plans for the RTP is available on the NTA website
For more information, please visit www.locallink.ie