Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (210)

Niall Collins


210. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills if correspondence forwarded to the school transport appeals office by a person (details supplied) on 10 September 2019 will be acknowledged and replied to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44374/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. In the 2018/2019 school year over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €200m in 2018.

Under the terms of the Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 3.2 kms from and are attending their nearest national school as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann is responsible for the planning and timetabling of school transport routes. Bus Éireann endeavours, within available resources, to ensure that each eligible child has a reasonable level of school transport service in the context of the Scheme nationally.

Where practicable, and subject to considerations of cost and logistics, routes are planned to avoid an eligible child having to travel more than 2.4 kms to or from a pick-up/set down point or to have travel and waiting times in excess of 1.5 hours per day. Routes are planned on the basis of the locations of children who are eligible for school transport only.

Bus Éireann has advised that the family in question is currently being offered a service within the above guidelines.

Bus Éireann has been requested to report on issues raised by the parent of the child concerned in regard to the pick-up point.