Bus Éireann and the NTA have announced the extension of the TFI Travel Assistance Scheme to passengers in Cork from September 2022.
The TFI Travel Assistance Scheme helps people with disabilities and who have additional needs to use public transport, providing people an opportunity to travel with independence, on their own terms. The service is free of charge and is available to customers aged 18 and over, between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday by calling 0818 836 611.
Under the scheme, which has operated in Dublin since 2008, an assistant can accompany passengers who need help using public transport and can give advice on how to plan their journey. The scheme will be operated by Bus Éireann in Cork and will be available on Bus Éireann PSO, Local Link Cork and Irish Rail Cork commuter services, with funding provided by the National Transport Authority.
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “We are happy to announce the extension of the TFI Travel Assistance Scheme to Cork, which aims to give people with disabilities the confidence to use public transport. The NTA are committed to improving the accessibility of bus services across Ireland and we believe that the extension of the TFI Travel Assistance Scheme to Cork will provide an opportunity for those who are not currently confident enough to use public transport, to do so in the future“.
Stephen Kent, CEO of Bus Éireann said: “Bus Éireann is delighted to support the extension of the TFI Travel Assistance Scheme on our PSO bus services in Cork. We are committed to the provision of a fully accessible public transport system and all buses operating on our Cork city services are fully accessible. We believe that the TFI Travel Assistance Scheme will help our passengers in Cork connect with who and what matters to them and our newly recruited travel assistants will be on-hand Monday to Friday to support our passengers“.
According to the most recent Census, 18.1% of the population of Cork city are living with a disability, the highest percentage in the state. The TFI Travel Assistance Scheme is one of a number of initiatives being taken by the NTA to improve accessibility to public transport in Ireland. This includes investment in fully accessible vehicles on urban PSO bus services and accessible bus stop infrastructure.