Background of Local Link
Local Link is a development of the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) which was launched in 2007 to build on the success of its predecessor, the Rural Transport Initiative (RTI).
The RTI was established as a pilot project in 2002 to address issues of unmet transport needs from a social inclusion and community-based perspective. The RTI and RTP specifically focused on responding to rural isolation and enhancing the mobility, accessibility and community participation of local people, particularly those at risk of social exclusion. In 2013 the responsibility of the Rural Transport Programme was transferred from Pobal to the National Transport Authority.
Initially the RTI and then the RTP in Co Wexford was managed by sub groups of South West Wexford Community Development Project and Wexford Local Development. In 2014 these two companies agreed to form one new company to manage the RTP in Co Wexford and Wexford Local Link CLG was formed, (t/a Local Link Wexford).
The placing of the responsibility for integrated local and rural transport with the NTA, including managing the RTP, has had the effect of consolidating the oversight of all State funded local and rural transport services. It enables the development of better links between local and rural transport services and scheduled bus and rail services. It also enables each Local Link office to identify gaps in service provision and to fill those gaps gradually in the most effective way, subject to funding.
Local Link Wexford work with 11 bus operators, all based in Co Wexford to provide public transport. The bus operators are contracted to provide all Local Link Wexford services of which there are two types;
- RRS – Regular Rural Services. These operate to a set timetable multiple times a day for 5, 6 or 7 days each week.
- DRT – Demand Responsive Transport. These are services that have a start and end time but they route may vary according to passenger bookings. Many of these services pick passengers up from their homes. These services generally operate one or two days each week.
Local Link Wexford began operations in January 2015 and since then has grown rapidly, the chart below shows the number of passenger trips provided from 2015 to 2018.
In line with the increase in passenger trips the fare income has also shown a steady increase as this chart depicts.
Local Link Wexford’s turnover has also increased year on year since 2015 as new services are introduced.