TFI Local Link – Sarah

“Only about two to three per cent of the Irish population lives in County Mayo, with many of them in very isolated areas. TFI Local Link connects these rural households to the nearby towns and villages.

Our drivers are not just regular bus drivers; they know most of their passengers by name. They are incredibly helpful and caring people who are willing to go the extra mile, literally! You would often spot one of our drivers walking with someone’s handbag swinging on one arm and bags of shopping in the other. I think TFI Local Link is very unique in that way.

It’s almost like a special community with members who look out for each other. When the pandemic hit, the whole purpose of TFI Local Link had to be transformed. We deal with an awful lot of vulnerable passengers who have disabilities or are elderly, whose only connection to the towns and hospitals would be our buses. On the week before the first lockdown, our drivers had already begun reorganising their job roles, as they were the first to see the concern in the eyes of their passengers. The following week we had a meeting where we began to develop a system that ended up picking up and dropping off over 35,000 deliveries during the lockdowns.

Our drivers began to collect and deliver medical supplies, prescriptions, shopping and whatever their passengers needed to be brought to them. They would also check on people living alone and look out for their mental health and offer services if needed. We heard stories that a household would ask our drivers to drop off freshly made cakes, some soda bread or a dozen of duck eggs on their route to their neighbours down the road. The drivers would sometimes come back with a knitted hat on their head or other small presents from grateful passengers. All these stories make their jobs so rewarding and enjoyable.

This post is by the National Transport Authority & @transportforireland to highlight the importance of TFI Local Link services in Ireland and how, for many people, it’s #MoreThanTransport. Find out more about TFI Local Link services near you by clicking the link in our bio.