Two Galway College Students call for bus service improvements
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Two Galway College Students call for bus service improvements

Two Galway college students, Aoibhín Twomey (20) and Síofra McGuire (19), recently launched an online petition pushing for an improvement in the 350 bus route service. Find out why here...

The 350 bus service is highly used, connecting rural villages such as Kinvara, Ballinderreen, Ballyvaughan, Doolin and surrounding areas with Galway city. For many young people this is their only means of travel to Galway city, it is especially important to those attending university in town as with the housing crisis students often cannot afford or even find accommodation in town and rely on this service.

TFI Bus courtesy of CitySwift on Flickr
Photo of TFI Bus courtesy of CitySwift on Flickr

The pair were pushed to make the petition after Síofra was stuck in Kinvara yet again waiting hours, after a bus drove past her. Síofra said; "I rely heavily on this bus to get me to and from college because I can’t afford to live in town. During the summer when I was working five days a week, I needed to get the 5 o'clock bus to get back into the city for the evening. One week, every single day that bus passed me, causing me to either wait and hope for the bus to stop at 8 o’clock, or not make it into Galway at all."

Despite the number of people this bus service should be serving, people are frequently left stranded at their bus stop due to the bus already being packed full at the Cliffs of Moher and other tourist attractions along the way. The 350 bus route was referred to by The Guardian as being "the most scenic bus route in Ireland" in 2022, and most of the route has been designated as part of the Wild Atlantic Way by Discover Ireland.

"The buses are too infrequent, and their capacity is too low. All we’re asking for is a reliable service that we can depend on to stop and pick us up. While we appreciate the push for tourists to use these services and visit our surrounding areas, the 350 bus service is not a luxury to us as locals, it is a necessity!" stated Aoibhín Twomey.

Photo of Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara by Chaosheng Zhang
Photo of Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara by Chaosheng Zhang

Cllr Martina Kinane strongly supported the petition as she has been actively working on this issue, saying; "The lack of public transport means many residents living in South Galway in particular Maree, Clarinbridge, Kilcolgan, Ballinderreen and Kinvara have no option but to use their cars to get to their workplace or attend medical appointments and some students have to 'couch surf' in order to attend college," she remarked.

"We want the government and the National Transport Authority to see the numbers. Our petition reached over 600 signatures within less than 24 hours and it's on its way to a thousand after two days. Our demand is simple, and the only solution is an improvement in the service," concluded Aoibhín.

Support the cause by signing the petition HERE.

Feature photo by Stephen Duffy courtesy of Ireland's Content Pool

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