Kerry Fine Gael TD and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, has said that a pilot rural transport scheme in the Keel and Castlemaine area has been an outstanding success in its first 12 months in operation.
A Year of Service Down
Keel-Castlemaine LIFT, which stands for Local Individually Flexible Transport, was set up by Minister Griffin in early February 2019.
In the first year, the service has recruited 25 volunteer drivers, who have carried over 4,000 passengers in the Keel and Castlemaine area.
This weekend, the LIFT launched their new car, which replaces the car that they have used for the first twelve months of operation.
Established in Keel and Castlemaine
“We established LIFT in Keel and Castlemaine in February 2019 as a pilot community car scheme to cover times when we don’t have a commercial transport service available.
It doesn’t replace existing services, it just fills the gap when there’s a need,” said Minister Griffin, chairman of the LIFT committee.
Legally Compliant Night Service
“LIFT is a free, fully insured and fully legally compliant night time local transport service, operated by Garda vetted volunteer drivers for all kinds of journeys – a trip to the shop, go visit friends, go to the pub, whatever you need.
“We are affiliated with Kerry Local Link, which has been a massive support to us throughout.
“Having offered advice on our experience to publicans, it was hugely encouraging to see Diageo/Guinness and the Vintners following our lead with a very similar initiative like ‘Social Spin’ with other rural communities examining various other models.
“I am currently working closely with the NTA and Local Link to roll out more solutions and services similar to LIFT throughout the country for times when there aren’t commercial services.
Community Gap Filling
I’m very keen to work with representatives of other rural communities to help fill gaps that exist at present. I think we’ve found a great model here and it can be applied in many other communities.
“LIFT is promoting safety, tackling rural isolation and helping local businesses. Above all else, it is strengthening our community and strengthening our sense of community.
A Credit to Their Community
”I am very grateful to all fellow volunteers in all schemes for their leadership, and in the case of LIFT, the 24 local heroes, who give so generously of their time to help others.
They are a great credit to themselves and their community.”