A one year pilot programme for a localised, specially licenced hackney service to help improve transport choices for people living in rural locations across the country launched on Monday.
Newmarket in Co. Cork has been selected as one of 21 rural locations included in the Local Hackney Pilot scheme announced by Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, alongside the National Transport Authority (NTA). Abbeyfeale in County Limerick, Borrisoleigh in County Tipperary and Kilmacthomas in County Waterford have also been selected for the pilot scheme.
A grant-aided programme designed to encourage new part-time local hackney services to operate in communities which could not support a full time taxi or hackney operation, the pilot programme will run for one year. All drivers will be licenced, insured and Garda vetted and will be able to pick people up from their doors to drop them to where they want to go, providing that essential “last mile” connection for people living in more isolated and rural areas.
Each successful applicant for the local hackney license may be granted €6,000 as a subsidy to ordinary fares income, to run the service. This grant is designed to contribute towards the fixed costs associated with providing this service.
This special limited local licence is designed to ensure that existing taxi or hackney services already operating and providing appropriate service in any area are not displaced.
The local hackney, which exclusively operates on a pre-booked basis, may only pick up passengers within a designated area of 7 to 10km from a chosen point, normally the residence of the licenced driver. The drop off point has no restrictions, with trips to healthcare facilities and transport hubs further afield anticipated.
Also, each local hackney service will be partnered with a local NTA Compliance Officer who will be a regular point of contact for any licensing or compliance queries.
Applications to take part in the Pilot Programme can be made at localhackney.ie – final acceptance date for applications is February 28th, 2023.