The Concessionary Fares Scheme has a vital role to play in improving connectivity and facilitating access to public transport for members of the community who are most at risk of social exclusion.
That was the message from Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon today as the results of a survey into how the Northern Ireland Concessionary Fares Scheme improves access to public transport are published.
The survey, carried out by the Department for Infrastructure in 2019, was developed in partnership with a range of voluntary organisations including the Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee and AgeNI. Some of the key findings from the survey show that 88% of respondents agreed that having a SmartPass had increased their use of public transport; 86% felt the SmartPass had enabled them to be more active; and 85% were able to make more social visits.
Minister Mallon said:
“I recognise the value that our communities attach to concessionary travel and the crucial role that a SmartPass can play in opening up access to public transport for older people and those with a disability. As we continue our recovery from the pandemic and see more people returning to public transport I am pleased to publish the results of the survey carried out by my Department into this important scheme.
“The survey results fully support my view that the Scheme connects people and opportunities through our transport infrastructure, helps to protect our environment through more sustainable travel and promotes long, healthy and active lives. It also highlights the importance of the Scheme to those who are most vulnerable in our communities and its critical role in building a socially just society.
“I would like to thank those organisations who assisted in the development and promotion of the survey and to those members of the public who took the time to complete it.”
Notes to editors:
- The Concessionary Fares Survey was developed in partnership with a range of representative organisations including, the Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee (Imtac), Age NI and the Consumer Council. All of these organisations have extensive experience of working with older people and disabled people in both urban and rural areas.
- It was launched on Thursday 15 August 2019, the survey was open for three months, until Thursday 10 October 2019. The survey was promoted by a variety of organisations including those mentioned above and the office of Commissioner for Older People Northern Ireland, Translink, Disability Action and the Rural Community Transport Partnerships as well as Belfast Heathy Aging Strategic Partnership. Over 2.000 responses were received.
- An analysis of the survey is available at: Northern Ireland Concessionary Fares Survey - 2019.
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at email@example.com Out of hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
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