Outside Dublin, whose central areas and inner suburbs have the lowest car ownership rates in the country, public transport coverage is constrained by the modest traffic volumes available. The rail network is limited and bus transport is the only alternative to the car for most trips.

Not only do rural dwellers own more cars, but they must also use them more intensively and annual mileage per car is around 50% higher than in Dublin for most counties. Improving personal mobility in rural Ireland means, as a practical matter, improving the road system for cars and buses.