Junior Minister for Public Transport Alan Kelly, and his senior colleague Leo Varadkar have welcomed the National Transport Authority’s launch of a new bus service between Portlaoise and Cashel.
“This will connect people along that corridor with other services to both Cork and Dublin. Furthermore it provides people with access to and from hospital in Portlaoise.
“The NTA has to find innovative ways to replace lost commercial services. The previous services between Portlaoise and Cashel were provided on a commercial basis. These have been replaced by a local bus provider with a strong reputation for service delivery,” said Deputy Kelly.
The news was also greeted by North Tipperary Fine Gael TD Deputy Noel Coonan. who said: I am pleased the Minister helped the people of Tipperary who need the service and the National Roads Authority will reinstate the route. The service will be operated by M&A Coaches from Kilkenny and it is the second contracted route to be awarded to a private company.”
The new service (Route 828X) is being provided under a Public Transport Services Contract with the Authority following a tender competition.
This contract marks the second competitively tendered contract that has been awarded by the Authority since its establishment on 1 December 2009. The operator will receive a public subsidy to support the socially necessary services.
The new service will provide three round trips on Mondays to Saturdays between Portlaoise and Cashel via Urlingford. Additional services will operate on Friday and Sunday evenings. The new service will be co-ordinated with Route 828 which operates between Portlaoise, Abbeyleix, Durrow, and Johnstown and now will be extended to Urlingford to link up with the new 828X. Route 828 is also subsidised by the Authority and is operated by M&A Coaches under contract with the Authority.
Onward public transport connections are available in Portlaoise towards Newbridge, Naas, Dublin Airport and Dublin City. Connections are also available at Cashel with Bus Éireann Route X8 for journeys towards, Cahir, Mitchelstown, Fermoy and Cork City