Fingal County Council gathered volunteer drivers, local Councillors and representatives from partners Local Link and GoCar in Skerries last week to celebrate the relaunch and expansion of ‘Community Car’ service.
This valuable service offers lifts to older persons and those with limited mobility so they can make it to essential medical appointments, pharmacy visits and the shops. Community Car also brings people to religious services, the post office and to social gatherings. The service is a lifeline for those who find it impossible to travel alone or struggle with access to public transport.
The Community Car service was the first of its kind to be implemented by a Local Authority in Ireland in 2019, initially serving Howth and Skerries, offering a vital lifeline to older persons and those with mobility limitations. The Community Car will be based in Skerries however Fingal County Council in partnership with Local Link and GoCar, is delighted to now expand the provision of this service to new areas across the County to also include trips from Donabate, Portrane, Rush and Lusk.
Getting where you need to go is easy as simply contacting Local Link by phone or email to book a trip and volunteers take care of the rest, bringing you from door to door safely. With 20 volunteers already signed up there is sure to be someone who can take you where you need to go.
The Community Car was initiated to fulfil the Rural Transport Programmes mission to “provide a quality nationwide community based public transport system in rural Ireland which responds to local needs,”. Providing greater links to the community helps to combat the problem of rural social isolation and with volunteers driving the experience the scheme also offers a chance for members from all parts of the community to connect with one another.
David Storey, Director of Environment, Climate Action and Action Travel at Fingal County Council said: ‘It’s wonderful to see Community Car expanding its service reach into new areas and growing in popularity and we hope that it continues to bring comfort and assistance to those who use it. Initiatives like this one are essential to inclusion and providing mobility for those who are less well connected to public transport networks or whose additional mobility needs make travelling by public transport too difficult.’
Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Seána O Rodaigh said “I'm delighted that Fingal County Council is expanding the Community Car service. It has been very successful in Skerries and with support from volunteers and our partners in Local Link and GoCar I am certain it will continue to bring great relief and positivity to the lives of those who use it. I’d encourage anyone who might need a helping hand in getting to and from their appointments to give the line a call and try out a trip.’
Miriam McKenna from Local Link said ‘Local Link is delighted to continue its involvement in Community Car. The expansion into Donabate, Portrane, Rush and Lusk as well as the continuing of the Skerries service is a really positive development for older people in Fingal and we are looking forward to welcoming our new passengers on board.’
An Electric Vehicle has been provided for this project by Ireland’s leading car sharing brand, GoCar. GoCar offer cars and vans for rent by the hour throughout Ireland. By year end, GoCar will have more than 700 car sharing locations nationally, with more than 900 vehicles available to rent by the hour. More vehicles are expected to be added in line with rising public demand.
Paul McNeice of GoCar said "We are delighted to see the expansion of our partnership with Fingal County Council and Local Link. We are committed to ‘open mobility for all’ and the Community Car is a great example of how we live those values. Car sharing in Ireland is on the rise and as a result we are determined to make it as accessible as possible for consumers across the country.”
Members looking to book a trip via Community Car can phone Local Link on 1800 303 707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org