Travelling To And From Rural Pubs To Be Made A Free Service In The Near Future

Travelling To And From Rural Pubs To Be Made A Free Service In The Near Future

If you've ever lived in rural Ireland than you'll know how difficult it is t0 get to and from your local pub. A taxi fare, if you can get one, can cost you twice the amount of a taxi hailed in Dublin for the same distance traveled.

After years without adequate services, drivers risking and taking lives by driving under the influence, and a number of pubs closing a new initiative called  'Cars for Bars' will be recommended to combat the problem.

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Transport, and Sport, Brendan Griffin, a Kerry TD, wants to introduce a scheme where people would volunteer to transport locals in the community for one night a month and, in turn, would be able to avail of the free service any other night they wished.

Mr Griffin wants to highlight that there's is no shortage of transport in rural Ireland as there are enough buses and cars at the moment but they're not being used effectively and that we need an Uber-like system. Speaking to the Irish Examiner, the Minister outlined how he tried to make the 'Cars for Bars' scheme work in his own area:

I tried to set up a scheme in my own local parish at home called the Cars for Bars scheme. Basically, it was a roster of volunteers who, for one night in the month, would make themselves available to drive people to and from the local pub or wherever else they wanted to go in the community. The benefit for those volunteers was that for every other night in the month they have that service available to them, free of charge.We couldn’t initiate because the insurance companies wouldn’t cover it because it was a rostered arrangement and, therefore, there was a public transport element to it. This is the type of red tape and nonsense that we really need to be getting over.

According to Griffin, Transport Minister Shane Ross, who has made contact with the insurance industry which means a deal could be made in the near future. Griffith believes the scheme could be replicated in every rural community and wants to see small Irish bars thriving as they're an integral part of tourism.


People come here to experience the small Irish rural pubs and we don’t want to see them closing; we want to see them living on and that’s why the Cars for Bars scheme that I was looking at was very important to me. We need to start thinking outside the box in terms of rural Ireland. We are never going to be able to afford the type of transport network in rural Ireland that we have in Dawson St or O’Connell St in Dublin or anywhere else like that.

Where can we sign up?

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Garret Farrell

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