The planned extension of the pilot local link evening rural bus service in Mayo, has been welcomed this morning by Alan Dillon, the Fine Gael General Election candidate.

He says the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party made a proposal to Transport Minister Shane Ross last year for the extension of evening rural bus services around the country to encourage increased connectivity in our communities. 

Since last summer additional bus services have been running in Mayo and all counties, on average from 6pm to 11pm typically on Friday and Saturday.

 The Minister has now confirmed that it will continue until at least March 31st, until a full review is complete

 Originally, it was intended that the pilot would end on the 31st of December 2018 after which the National Transport Authority would review the results of it.

Alan says it has been confirmed to him that the NTA will now conduct a further review of the performance of these services in March 2019 after which a decision will be taken regarding future funding for the services.

He is encouraging the many people benefitting from the service in Mayo to continue using it now that it has been extended.

Meanwhile, in another effort to curb rural isolation, people in rural areas could soon be allowed to act as taxi drivers to plug a public transport gap.

According to the Irish Daily Mail, the idea for an Uber-style system is being put forward by junior minister Jim Daly.

It would see people in small towns allowed to use their own car to pick up people within 15 kilometres of where they live.

They'd be able to use a mobile phone app to find passengers and set cheaper fares.

It's hoped the measure could help tackle rural isolation.

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