In response to the economic and social impact of the inadequate transport service provision in rural areas at the time, a pilot initiative known as the Rural Transport Initiative (RTI) was developed and put into operation from 2002-2006. Building on the success of the RTI, the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) was launched in 2007 and officially commenced in 2008. With an increased level of funding it continued to recognise that local communities are best placed to identify and address their rural transport needs.
The RTP Mission Statement was ‘to provide a quality nationwide community based public transport system in rural Ireland which responds to local needs’.
The RTP Aims & Objectives were as follows:
o To provide, enhance and sustain a nationwide community-based public transport system in rural areas.
o To maximise existing transport assets and to utilise new technology where necessary in the co-ordination and development of transport.
o To act as a catalyst in providing models of partnership at all levels where key sectors actively engage in transport provision.
o To ensure equality of access for all, including older people as well as people with mobility, sensory and cognitive impairments.
o To maintain, promote and develop models of good practice.
o To continue to contribute to rural public transport policy.
Pobal and the Rural Transport Programme
Pobal were involved in establishing the Rural Transport Initiative with the Department of Transport prior to 2002 and continued to manage both the RTI and the Rural Transport Programme until the end of 2013. During the lifespan of the programme, Pobal, in conjunction with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the National Transport Authority (NTA) and the RTP groups, ensured that the programme met public policy requirements and was based on elements of key learning resulting from the implementation and delivery of the programme.
In 2012, Pobal began reporting to the NTA on all matters pertaining to RTP and in 2013 worked in close collaboration with them to facilitate the ongoing management requirements of the programme throughout the transition period, until January 2014 when the NTA assumed full operational management of the Rural Transport Programme.
For further information on the Rural Transport Programme please see the following websites: