Transport Minister Conor Murphy and Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew have announced the introduction of two new rural transport schemes. These new schemes have been developed to help meet the transport needs of rural dwellers. The new Dial-a-Lift services will be available to members of Rural Community Transport Partnerships. These services are similar to the Door-to-Door services that are available in urban areas and are designed to allow individuals who have limited access to transport to get to local services and facilities.
The second scheme announced is the Assisted Rural Transport Scheme (ARTS). This scheme is being supported by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and will allow eligible members of Rural Community Transport Partnerships to obtain concessionary travel when using community transport. This initiative, which is being launched as a pilot, will help ease the financial burden on rural dwellers. The Ministers fully recognise the importance of transport for people in rural areas and their Departments have worked closely together to introduce the Dial-a-Lift scheme and Assisted Rural Transport Scheme pilot. Both these initiatives will improve access to essential local services for users and will be available from early December 2009.