There are 17 Local Link Offices nationwide. These offices manage approximately 1,000 Public Bus Services in local and rural areas of Ireland. Local Link Offices open from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Local Link provides a combination of scheduled Public Transport services and door-to-door services. Door to door services should be pre-booked with the Local Link office closest to the service you wish to use.
Details of Local Link Services are available through the National Journey Planner. Alternatively, more detailed information on the range of services in your area can be obtained by contacting your Local Link office which will be happy to pre-book a seat if required.
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, 224,158 vehicle trips were provided under the programme while 1.74million passenger journeys were taken.
The RTI and RTP, until April 2013, were managed by Pobal however this responsibility was transferred to the National Transport Authority (NTA). The NTA, established in 2009, has the statutory responsibility to procure public transport passenger services. 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 the NTA to identify gaps in service provision and, as funds become available, to fill those gaps gradually in the most effective way.
The RTP was selected for a Value for Money (VfM) review in line with a commitment given at the launch of the Programme in 2007. The Review was carried out by the Department of Transport in the context of the Government evaluation of public expenditure programmes under the ‘Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative’. The Report was published early 2012, following submission to Government.
The NTA has been tasked with overseeing the implementation of the recommendations of the Report and specifically with developing a detailed plan for an organisational restructuring of the RTP to address the findings of the VfM Review. This plan concentrated on the establishment of 18 Local Link Areas of operation which will provide the appropriate critical mass of population and characteristics to sustain the running costs of each Unit.