John McGinley and Feda O'Donnell buses, at the bus stop near the busy Station Roundabout in Letterkenny.
Sinn Féin Cllr. Gerry McMonagle wants Donegal County Council to work with transport services and other agencies to see if a coordinated rural transport system could be developed for the county.
”What needs to come out of it is better coordination, and I think there’s an urgency on it,” he said.
Cllr. McMonagle raised the issue at the council’s March meeting. He said he would like to see a coordinated system in which the county was served by a combination of public, private and community operators, with timetables and bus stops for ease of use.
After learning that Seirbhis Iompair Tuaithe Teo, SITT Rural Transport, had compiled an audit of public, private and community transport in the county in 2013, Cllr. McMonagle suggested the council invite SITT to give them a presentation on the audit.
The councillor said a committee could be formed to consider the report’s recommendations and how they could be implemented.
”What’s needed is for everyone with an interest to sit around a table and draw up a coordinated plan that would be cost-effective for people around the county - a fairly regular bus service, especially for people who live in rural areas,” he said.
For example, he questioned whether someone who works in Letterkenny at 8am could take a bus to work from an outlying area. He asked if someone waiting at the Station Roundabout bus stop saw a minibus or bus coming in from another part of the county, “can you put your hand out when a bus is going past and flag it down and pay a fare to get to your destination?”
“There is no coordination about that and no information in the public domain,” he said. He said his proposal is not about competing with services, but coordinating and complementing them.