14th June 2021 

Minister for Disabilities and Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, has received confirmation from the National Transport Authority (NTA) that private bus companies can operate on the Gort – Galway bus route.

Following Bus Éireann’s decision to cancel its evening service on the Galway – Cork Expressway Route 51, passengers along the route have no access to a public bus service after the last bus departs Galway City at 5:05pm.

Minister Rabbitte commented:

I am disappointed in Bus Éireann’s decision to cancel its evening service on Route 51, which has left a lot of people without a means to get home from Galway City to South Galway in the evenings.

I know the impact this has and the limitations it places on students, workers and general commuters travelling out of Galway. It leaves a large swathe of South Galway without an evening transport connection, particularly in the likes of the very populous area of Gort.

I highlighted this issue with the Minister for Transport and how important adequate access to rural transport is vital in rural Galway for people to be able to live their lives. Following this, I wrote to the NTA to seek clarity on whether a commercial bus operator can operate on a route that Bus Éireann has decided to reduce its service on. I have since received written confirmation from the NTA to say it is open to any bus operators to submit an application to the NTA at any time to service the route.

Minister Rabbitte concluded,

I would encourage commercial bus operators out there who think this may be a viable option for them to make an application to operate on this route and provide this vital service for commuters in county Galway. If assistance is required, please do get in contact with my office and I’ll be happy to work with you and the NTA to find a solution that will help reinstate some of these essential bus services.