Hackney Pilot Scheme for Kilmacthomas

Hackney Pilot Scheme for Kilmacthomas

Green Party Representatives welcomes New Local Hackney Pilot Scheme for Kilmacthomas and Surrounds

BEGINS

New subsidised local hackney service to be provided in Kilmacthomas as part of national pilot programme. Green Party TD for Waterford, Marc Ó Cathasaigh today welcomed the launch of a new, creative pilot programme which will see a localised, specially-licenced hackney service in Kilmacthomas as part of a national move to improve transport choices for people living in more rural locations.    

The National Local Hackney Pilot, which was launched by the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, with the National Transport Authority (NTA), is a grant aided programme designed to encourage new part-time local hackney services in communities which could not support a full-time taxi or hackney operation.  Applications to take part in the one-year Pilot Programme can be made at localhackney.ie

The pilot programme will roll out across 21 rural areas across the country in total, including Kilmacthomas.  All drivers will be licenced, insured and Garda-vetted and will be able to pick people up from their doors to drop them to where they want to go, providing that essential “last mile” connection for people living in more isolated and rural areas. 

Commenting on the new pilot, Deputy Ó Cathasaigh said: “A key priority for the Greens in government is to tackle rural isolation and to improve connectivity across rural Ireland, not just in towns and villages, but in the areas around those towns where so many people live and work. There are many people across rural Ireland who, for a variety of reasons, perhaps due to age, disability or economic circumstances, have limited or no access to a car. This scheme aims to provide a creative and local option to connect people between their front doors to the closest village or town, their healthcare centres, the post-offices, church or onto other transport stops and hubs.”

Green Party representative for the Comeragh District, Tom Keith, believes the scheme will bring great benefit for the wider area. “It’s envisioned in this pilot that pick-ups can happen within a 7-10 km radius, so it’s not only the community in Kilmacthomas that will have a part time local area hackney service available to them – I would be my hope that the service would stretch to cover surrounding areas such as Bunmahon, Kill, Stradbally, Ballylaneen and even Clonea to the north. It will be ideal for smaller journeys like a doctor’s appointment or coming home from the pub at night, and will connect people to the wider transport network as well, be that the Bus Éireann services along the N25 or the Local Link route across the Copper Coast.”

Dep. Ó Cathasaigh hopes that a successful pilot phase will see the Local Hackey service being rolled out more widely across the country:  “The scheme will be monitored over the coming year to see how it is working and to use the feedback to help with rolling out similar schemes in other locations across Waterford and nationally. This Hackney Pilot Scheme is an important part of the Government’s National Sustainable Mobility Plan 2022-2025 and a key deliverable under Our Rural Future 2021-2025.”

Each successful applicant for the local hackney license may be granted €6,000 as a subsidy to ordinary fares income, to run the service.  This grant is designed to contribute towards the fixed costs associated with providing this service.  It is payable by NTA over one year, in equal monthly instalments, where the service provider can show that the services are being used and the local hackney service is of benefit to the community.

This special limited local licence is designed to ensure that existing taxi or hackney services already operating and providing appropriate service in any area are not displaced.

The local hackney, which exclusively operates on a pre-booked basis, may only pick up passengers within a designated area of 7 to 10km from a chosen point, normally the residence of the licenced driver. The drop off point has no restrictions, with trips to healthcare facilities and transport hubs further afield anticipated.

Each local hackney service will be partnered with a local NTA Compliance Officer who will be a regular point of contact for any licensing or compliance queries.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

For more information see:  www.localhackney.ie 

The full list of designated areas included in the Local Hackney Pilot scheme are:

Area       County

Ballon    Carlow

Killashandra        Cavan

Carna    Gaillimhe

Newmarket         Cork

Milford  Donegal

Glencar Kerry

Freshford             Kilkenny

Manor Hamilton               Leitrim

Abbeyfeale          Limerick

Ballinalee            Longford

Lordship               Louth

Killala    Mayo

Drumconrath      Meath

Rockcorry            Monaghan

Kilcormac            Offaly

Elphin    Roscommon

Borrisoleigh        Tipperary

Kilmacthomas    Waterford

Castlepollard      Westmeath

Castletown         Wexford

Roundwood        Wicklow

The final acceptance date for applications for the Pilot is the 28th February 2023.  However, each application will be assessed at the time of receipt.  If the applicant in each area does not complete the licence process, NTA will assess the next applicant on the list.  Two separate licences are legally required to operate a local area hackney; a local area hackney vehicle licence issued by NTA for suitable, appropriately insured vehicles and a local area hackney driver licence issued by An Garda Síochana for a driver who has been successfully Garda vetted.  NTA will guide applicants through the process.