Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (586, 587)

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

586. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of providing free school transport to all eligible children at primary level. [33714/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

587. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost of providing free school transport to all eligible children at post-primary level. [33715/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 586 and 587 together.

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.  

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 at a cost of over €200m in 2018. 

In the 2018/19 school year school transport services were provided to primary and post-primary schools for almost 76,000 eligible children. Of these, in the region of 29,000 children held valid Medical Cards and were exempt from school transport charges.

The average cost of providing transport for a child to a primary or post-primary school is estimated at €1,000 per annum.