About Local Link Donegal
Professionally coordinated and managed transport provision throughout County Donegal. An independent company, not for profit, limited by guarantee (CLG) with charitable status and a board of management from the community and voluntary sector.
Since it was established in 2002, the board and staff of SITT have been courageous and progressive in their vision, flexible in their approach and steadfast in the belief that transport is fundamental to rural living.
We’ve come a long way in 16 years! From our early years as a small local bus service, we have grown into a transportation leader for the county of Donegal. By being innovative and open-minded to new possibilities, SITT have expanded its geographical coverage and increased its passenger profile with over 500,000 passenger journeys in 2017. And our service are continues to expand.
Background of Local Link
Local Link is a development of the Rural Transport Programme (RTP) which was launched in 2007 to build on the success of its predecessor, the Rural Transport Initiative (RTI). The RTI was established as a pilot project in 2002 to address issues of unmet transport needs from a social inclusion and community-based perspective. The RTI and RTP specifically focused on responding to rural isolation and enhancing the mobility, accessibility and community participation of local people, particularly those at risk of social exclusion. In 2013, 224,158 vehicle trips were provided under the programme while 1.74million passenger journeys were taken.
The RTI and RTP, until April 2013, were managed by Pobal however this responsibility was transferred to the National Transport Authority (NTA). The NTA, established in 2009, has the statutory responsibility to procure public transport passenger services. The placing of the responsibility for integrated local and rural transport with the NTA, including managing the RTP, has had the effect of consolidating the oversight of all State funded local and rural transport services. It enables the development of better links between local and rural transport services and scheduled bus and rail services. It also enables the NTA to identify gaps in service provision and, as funds become available, to fill those gaps gradually in the most effective way.
The RTP was selected for a Value for Money (VfM) review in line with a commitment given at the launch of the Programme in 2007. The Review was carried out by the Department of Transport in the context of the Government evaluation of public expenditure programmes under the ‘Value for Money and Policy Review Initiative’. The Report was published early 2012, following submission to Government.
The NTA has been tasked with overseeing the implementation of the recommendations of the Report and specifically with developing a detailed plan for an organisational restructuring of the RTP to address the findings of the VfM Review. This plan concentrated on the establishment of 18 Local Link Areas of operation which will provide the appropriate critical mass of population and characteristics to sustain the running costs of each Unit
“This bus service is absolutely great!! Two services a day between Burtonport and Letterkenny which is great as there are very few buses around this area! The driver on this route is extremely friendly and helpful as well (great customer service). Highly recommended! Prices are also very affordable!” – Facebook review
“Great scenic run from falcarragh to dungloe at good times, very handy to be able to travel in that direction to go shopping or meet friends…. Or both lol thank you again Martin the bus driver will see you again.” – Facebook review
“This is a much needed and appreciated and provides a social and community service to people in the county.” – Facebook review
“Very handy bus run to Dungloe and back to Falcarragh which travels around the coastline with the best views of the Wild Atlantic Way. Sarah and I have been taking notes on your stops along the way for photo opportunities! Thanks Martin who drove us.” – Facebook review