Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Questions (103)

Kevin O'Keeffe


103. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will reconsider the provision of a second pick-up point for over 20 secondary school students under the eligible criteria of his Department (details supplied). [24354/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of my Department.

There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually. 

The purpose of the scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school. 

In general children are eligible for school transport if they meet the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school. 

Children who are eligible for school transport and who complete the application process on time will be accommodated on school transport services where such services are in operation for the 2019/20 school year.

Bus Éireann has confirmed that the children in the area referred to by the Deputy are not eligible for school transport as they are not attending their nearest school. 

Children who are not eligible for school transport, under the terms of the scheme, may apply to Bus Éireann for transport on a concessionary basis only.  Concessionary transport is subject to a number of conditions including that routes will not be extended or altered, additional vehicles will not be introduced, nor will larger vehicles or extra trips using existing vehicles be provided to cater for children who are not eligible; no additional State cost will be incurred. 

The terms of the School Transport Schemes are applied equitably on a national basis.