Local Link cutting bus capacity by three quarters

The capacity of all the buses operated by Local Link Longford Westmeath Roscommon services has been reduced by three quarters as part of the country being moved to Level 5.

“Public transport will operate at 25 percent capacity for the purposes of allowing those providing essential services to get to work,” Damien O’Neill, manager Local Link Longford Westmeath Roscommon, told the Westmeath Examiner.

Damien O’Neill.

“This means that anyone travelling on any one of our services must book their seat with our office on 044-9340801.

“This is the only way to guarantee a seat. If the bus is at capacity the driver cannot allow even one more person to get on.”

Local Link LWR, with an office in Mullingar, provides rural transport across the three midland counties and had already moved services connecting Longford to Cavan Town to a reduced capacity in line with the government’s decision to move border counties to Level 4.

“Since March Local Link LWR have worked closely with all our operators to keep services running.

“Our model allows us to react swiftly to changes such as these and the team in Local Link have worked closely with community partners to ensure that people living in rural areas remain connected to their community, their shops and if they needed anything our drivers dropped groceries, fuel and medicine out to them.

“Our board and our team know that while our job is to provide transport, the work that we do is really about connecting people.

"A lot of our passengers living in rural areas can be quite isolated, so they rely on our bus for a bit of company when they travel with other passengers every week and the bus drivers are someone they see every week.

“Our drivers are so good, you know, they are the type that before Covid would have carried all the shopping off the bus and dropped it right to the kitchen table,” said Damien.

“Now that the country is moving to Level 5, we will work closely with the three councils, and our community partners, to provide transport solutions the same way we responded in March.”