Public Transport Minister Alan Kelly is calling for a local bus companies to explore opportunities to transport students to and from LIT Tipperary. The Institute, now part of Limerick Institute of Technology, will see student numbers grow significantly in the college this coming September.
This means many people who would have commuted to Thurles every day from Nenagh and the surrounds will now be looking for opportunities to use a bus service to Thurles. There are others who may require such transport not associated with the college either and may involve a daily service.
Deputy Kelly believes it may present an opportunity for a local bus company to supply a service to not only students but others who need access to the Thurles-Nenagh corridor.
“It could well be the case that it creates an opportunity for a local bus company to serve. Many more students will be using the facility. Therefore, the transport needs will be greater and demand likely to rise,” stated Deputy Kelly.
The Labour TD has met the National Transport Authority and they have confirmed they will licence an operator to run a service for students from areas such as Nenagh if local companies are willing to apply. While an administrative assessment would have to be carried out, the process itself would be straight forward involving presentation of a tax clearance certificate along with an assessment of the level of competition on the route, which is minimal.
“Many students and their families are no longer in a position to buy cars, so this could be a good opportunity to put a transport service in place. We have many fine local bus companies in North Tipperary and many of them, by their own admission, are struggling to make ends meet. It is an extremely difficult time for all involved in the transport sector. However, this all the more reason why local opportunities should be looked upon and exploited in full,” added Deputy Kelly.
“LIT Tipperary is a vital local institute and I want to see it grow and develop. Creating better transport links to and from it will improve that going forward. As an enthusiastic supporter of local third-level education, I would hope that such a local service could be put in place,” he said.