‘I want to take you to the island’ are no doubt Paul Brady lyrics which will be heard on Route 210! It was with great excitement that the residents and commuters of Cork’s Little Island – City Centre -Northside corridor welcomed the news of the first-ever bus route to service their area. Commencing Wednesday 7th July, Cork Connect, a private bus service, will operate Route 210 which will transport members of the public between Cork’s Northside, the City Centre and Little Island, with 17 pick-up points along the route.
The North and East sides of the city are major economic hubs, home to Apple European HQ and Little Island’s vast number of businesses, Cork Connect is the first bus provider to take to their roads. It is estimated that in Little Island alone there are 18,000 people who either work or visit the 1,000 companies based there daily.
Cork Connect is an Irish owned and operated company, and follows in the footsteps of their successful, and still immensely popular, Cobh Connect. With a track record in bringing people together, the team at Cork Connect hope that they can close the isolation gap for people living and working in these areas, as they did for the people of Cobh.
Initially starting with a fleet of four buses and six drivers, Cork Connect will provide luxury low-cost travel six days a week, Monday to Saturday. These modern 57-seater coaches boast Wi-Fi, charging points and air-condition as standard, and will be offering 32 services a day, with the first week-day bus of the day leaving the Apple Campus at 6.15am.
From 06.15 to 09.15 buses will run every 30 minutes and after that they will revert to hourly services. From 15:45 to 18:45 they will again have a 30-minute frequency, with the last bus of the evening being at 19:45.
In addition to Little Island and Hollyhill stops, Route 210 will also stop at Cathedral Road, Camden Place, Kent Train Station and Tivoli, with its terminus being at Eastgate Retail Village in Little Island.
To celebrate the launch of Cork Connect, for the month of July this route will be free for all passengers. From August on, once fares resume, an adult travelling the entire route can do so for as little as €4 one way or €6 return. For shorter journeys, depending on your pick-up location and destination, your fare will be cheaper still. There are also discounted student and 10 journey fares available, in addition to Cork Connect accepting Leap cards, free travel passes and children under 3 free.
Speaking with excitement at the launch of Cork Connect, Company Director, Thomas Kavanagh commented, “For us Cork Connect was a no-brainer. As travel specialists it is our job to provide members of the public with viable transport solutions. With the sheer volumes of residents and commuters along the Route 210 corridor, it seemed crazy that there was no bus service available to them. This new service will deliver its part of an integrated transport network that will assist the sustainable growth of the Cork Metropolitan Area as a dynamic connected city, by profoundly increasing the public transport offering on this new corridor.
“We have experienced first-hand the impact that our Cobh Connect – Route 200 has had on the people of Cobh, and tourists wishing to visit this historic town. It has connected them to Cork City, opening up more job and shopping opportunities in both areas. The positive local feedback has been overwhelming and inspired us to continue our mission to connect underserviced areas of Cork. From speaking with businesses and residents in Little Island, our new Cork Connect service is long overdue.”
Welcoming this service on behalf of those living and working in Little Island, Michael Mulcahy, CEO, Little Island Business Association said, “It’s fantastic to have the announcement from Cork Connect of their new bus service from Little Island – Cork City – Hollyhill that starts on July 7th. Congratulations to everyone involved for making it happen. Little Island Business Association and Cork’s Business Channel welcomes this first bus service to and from Little Island for residents, businesses ,employees and visitors, and we would encourage people to try it out and support it.”
Acknowledging the work which went into bringing this service to fruition, Thomas Kavanagh added, “I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Cork County Council for being instrumental in getting this new service across the line. From a planning and infrastructure point of view they supported and assisted us every step of the way.”
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan, commenting on the launch of the new bus service, noted, “With over 18,500 people employed in the area, Little Island is one of our four strategic employment centres in Cork County. This new service, provided by Cork Connect, is much needed and will be welcomed by commuters and residents of Little Island. Cork County Council, with funding from the NTA, provided the infrastructure to facilitate the new service. This will assist in the Council’s overall vision for a more sustainable transport infrastructure for Little Island, allowing it to reach its full potential in attracting investment and improving the quality of life here.”
For more information on the new Northside to Little Island Cork Connect service, including the route timetable visit www.corkconnect.ie