NTA to commence Letterkenny Town Bus Service Public Consultation

Town Bus Service to operate 17 hours per day – NTA to unveil proposals at Donegal County Council Public Information event

11 July 2024

The National Transport Authority (NTA) will launch a public consultation for the Letterkenny Town Bus Service next Wednesday 17th July 2024.

Letterkenny Bus town service

The NTA proposes to invest in Letterkenny by securing provision for a network of local urban-style bus services to operate for 17 hours a day Monday to Saturday, with a slightly shorter operating day on Sundays.

Under the proposal, buses will operate on two routes every half hour, starting from early morning and running until late at night across the week.

Servicing Mountain View, town centre, Letterkenny University Hospital, Ballymacool, ATU Letterkenny and Lisnenan via town centre and hospital to An Gleann Rua

A trip to the town centre will take about 15 minutes, and over 80% of the population of the town will live within a short walk to a bus stop. Both routes will operate on a common section through the town, doubling the flow of buses on that section.

Route 1 will operate from Mountain View via the town centre to Letterkenny University Hospital, Ballymacool and ATU Letterkenny.

Route 2 will serve Lisnenan via the town centre & Letterkenny University Hospital to An Gleann Rua.

With a population of almost 26,000 people and up to 40,000 others visiting Letterkenny each day for work, education, and social reasons a frequent reliable town bus service will give people in the area the choice to travel using a sustainable mode of public transport.

A standard flat town fare of €2, with second trip for free within 90 minutes

A standard flat town fare of €2 will apply for adults paying cash and €1.50 when using a Transport for Ireland (TFI) Leap card. Passengers under 26 years of age and children will pay half price. Free Travel Passes will also be honoured.  Anyone changing route to complete a journey across the town can get the second bus free within 90 minutes of taking the first one.

New fully accessible bus stops

New fully accessible bus stops will also be provided, each showing diagrammatic timetables and other useful information on how to use the service for intending passengers.

Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport said: “Town bus services literally bring a town together. I believe that this public consultation by the NTA will provide everyone in Letterkenny and its hinterland with an opportunity to have their say on how to improve public transport services in your own hometown. You know your town best and your needs best, so it’s important that we hear from you, so that you can help design a bus service that’s right for your needs.

“The provision of town bus services, accessible to all, is a key part of our transport strategy to get our towns moving better. The town bus is the way to get more people to their work, school, college or healthcare, which helps free up streets and roads of congestion. This in turn is good news for those who are walking and cycling and it also means that people who have to use their cars are not sitting in as much traffic.  

“So, it’s a win-win for everyone. This type of modal shift is vital for the growth and sustainability of Letterkenny. It is also vital if we are to meet our ambitions in responding to climate change and ensuring sustainable development opportunities for our young people, both now and for future generations.

Engaging with the community in Letterkenny about plans for their town bus service

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA said: “We have provided urban bus networks in towns of similar size and diversity to Letterkenny elsewhere in the country and they have been very successful.  Now, it is the turn of Letterkenny.

“We will engage with the community in Letterkenny about plans for their town bus service which will be clean, modern, low emission, with low floor wheelchair-accessible vehicles, ensuring our TFI public transport network is accessible to everyone who wishes to use it.

Public consultation opens at 12noon on Wednesday 17th of July, with Public Information Event
3pm to 7pm at the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny

The Letterkenny Town Bus Service public consultation opens at 12noon on Wednesday 17th of July for four weeks and will close at midnight on Wednesday 14th August.  You can submit your views on the NTA’s consultation portal at: https://consult.nationaltransport.ie/en

To mark the opening of the NTA’s public consultation, Donegal County Council is hosting a Public Information Event on Wednesday, 17th July, from 3pm to 7pm at the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny. This event provides an excellent opportunity for the community to gain insights into the town’s transport plans and other significant initiatives to enhance connectivity.

Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Mayor of the Letterkenny Milford Municipal District said:  “I would encourage the public to take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the range of initiatives and projects which will shape how we move around Letterkenny. Your engagement is invaluable to the success of these efforts“.

Event Information:

The event will feature information, plans and drawings for several other projects including:

  • Letterkenny Active Travel Schemes
  • Pre Part 8 Planning information on Ballymacool Road and Ballyraine Road
  • Transport Hub
  • Ten – T
  • Extension of TFI Local Link bus services
Additional Information
  • The NTA’s Town Bus Services Programme sets out plans for the introduction of Town Bus Services in larger towns. Up to 25 towns across Ireland have been identified where the introduction of new or improved bus services are under consideration, that could help to achieve transport, development and economic policy objectives.
  • Town Bus Services are currently operating in Athlone (Ireland’s first all-electric town bus service), Kilkenny City, Carlow Town, Clonmel, Sligo, Drogheda, Balbriggan and Navan. We (NTA) are planning similar networks in Portlaoise, Ennis and Mullingar.
  • In January to June 2019, there were about 780,000 passenger journeys made on our town services. In 2023, that figure was 1.3m, an increase of 67%.
  • Donegal County Council’s Public Information Event takes place on Wednesday, 17th July, from 3pm to 7pm at the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny.