‘Ruxi’ proposal a viable solution to rural isolation
The VFI are urging government to support the implementation of a rural taxi service that would help alleviate isolation and encourage social cohesion.
Minister for State Jim Daly, TD, has called for the introduction of an Uber-style service in towns with a population under 5,000 that would operate on less stringent regulations than currently apply to taxis and hackneys. The car would need a valid NCT, the driver would need to be Garda vetted and the service would be authorised to serve a radius area of 15km of the town centre
Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive, says there is a crisis in rural communities that requires immediate action:
“We need a solution that works for rural Ireland. The problem with transport is decades old but since the introduction of new drink driving legislation last October the public are suffering from a lack of clarity on what these changes mean, consequently people are staying at home for fear of checkpoints.
“The fabric of rural life is being torn apart but all we’ve had so far by way of a solution is the Minister for Transport’s woefully inadequate Local Link night service, introduced as a pilot scheme. Recent reports reveal cancelled services while remaining routes are wholly unsuitable for people not living within walking distance of the route.”
The innovative ‘Ruxi idea would go some way to solving the problem of rural isolation.
“I’m encouraged to see Minister Daly is meeting the National Transport Authority on 9th February to present his ‘Ruxi’ idea. Fianna Fail has also voiced its support saying an Uber-style service could bring about a resurgence in social life.
“Tinkering around the edges won’t work, as proved by the Local Link pilot scheme. We need sustainable solutions that work for rural communities.
“What we have had so far is pious platitudes from a political elite that has no understanding of rural life,” concludes Mr Cribben.