Support for transport operators must be included in July stimulus – Darren O’Rourke TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD today said the July stimulus package being prepared by the government must include support and assistance for transport operators such as bus and coach companies and taxi drivers.
Speaking today, the Meath East TD said;
“Despite being a key part of our transport system, the bus, coach and taxi sectors have been left high and dry without any proper support from the government to date.
“We’ve recently met with the Federation of Transport Operators (FOTO), the Coach Tourism & Transport Council of Ireland (CTTC), four taxi representative organisations, in addition to dozens of individual operators, and their message has been the same - there won’t be many operators left if direct supports aren’t introduced immediately.
“The bus and coach sector employs thousands of workers and provides essential transport links for hundreds of thousands of commuters and schoolchildren across our island.
“They have warned they simply won’t be there in September if assistance isn’t provided now, leaving a huge gap in our transport network.
“Taxi drivers have also been very badly hit by the pandemic, yet little to no support has been made available for them.
“We need sector specific plans that recognise some areas are going to take much longer to get back to normal, and therefore need targeted supports. The taxi industry needs to be recognised and treated as a key part of our public transport system.
“The costs associated with getting back on the road are proving prohibitive for many operators, while the lack of activity in the economy means business has collapsed for those who are back to work in the sector.
“It is vital these sectors are included in the July stimulus plan. Operators need grants to help get them back on the road in addition to reforms in their sector to make their businesses feasible going forward, living with Covid-19.
“The last Minister for Transport took a complete hands-off approach to most issues under his remit, Minister Ryan cannot do the same.”