It's intended to support on-board staff with anti-social behaviour.
A new garda unit to help combat anti-social behaviour on public transport is being launched in Athlone tomorrow.
A number of Garda Response Hubs are already in operation since December 13th to support staff on-board train and bus services, including in Portlaoise.
Responding to a parliamentary question, Junior Minister for Transport Hildegarde Naughton confirmed the Athlone hub will commence operations on January 1st 2022.
Additional Response Hubs in Kildare (Kildare Town or Newbridge) and Roscommon (Castlerea) are in the pipeline.
Minister Naughton says her department has been engaging regularly with the National Transport Authority and the three CIÉ companies on the issue of anti-social behaviour.
Iarnród Éireann says a joint focus, with An Garda Síochána, on public order and anti-social behaviour has been in place since May 2021, with a particular emphasis on Heuston to Portlaoise services.
The minister added that she will "continue to work collectively with all stakeholders to ensure the safest possible travel environment for members of the public, and safest possible working environment for the employees providing our valuable public transport services."