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School Transport

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 27 July 2021

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Questions (965)

Pearse Doherty


965. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education if the medical card verification system used for school transport tickets which is currently unavailable will be resolved in time to process payments before the closing date of 30 July 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38657/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The School Transport Scheme is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. In the 2020/2021 school year over 114,100 children, including over 14,700 children with special educational needs, were transported on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country at a cost of over €224.7m in 2020.

The purpose of my Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school.

Owing to the cybersecurity attack on the HSE systems recently, Bus Éireann have been unable to offer the Medical Card verification system as part of the school transport payment and are working closely with the HSE team to find a resolution to this.

In the meantime Bus Éireann will roll forward the medical card details used successfully for payment last year as payment for 21/22 school transport tickets, where children continue to be eligible for transport.

This means the following for families:

- Families are not required to enter their medical card as payment where the same medical card was used successfully last year. The child’s existing medical card will be processed as payment for the school transport ticket for the 2021/22 school year. A ticket will issue automatically in the coming weeks.

- Families can access their account and view the details that have been applied.

- Where families have other children without a medical card, they will need to pay the charges due before Friday 30th July. Families account balances will be updated to reflect the medical card applied.

- Should a family have a new application for a child for the 2021/22 school year, and did not use a medical card last year, they can enter the medical card for this child and it will be validated later.

More information is available at

The closing date for payment for School Transport tickets for the 2021/22 school year is Friday 30th July 2021. The Bus Éireann payment portal will then close and families will not be able to apply or pay for a ticket until it reopens on the 20th August. This is to allow for planning of services for the new school year. Applications or payments made after the deadline date will be deemed late and families may not be guaranteed a seat at that stage.