I propose to take Questions Nos. 236 and 237 together.
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.
The purpose of the 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. Children are generally eligible for school transport if they satisfy the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.
All children who are eligible for school transport and who complete the application process on time have been accommodated on school transport services where such services are in operation for the 2019/20 school year.
Children who are not eligible for school transport may apply for transport on a concessionary basis only and will be facilitated where spare seats are available after eligible children have been accommodated. Where the number of ineligible children exceeds the number of spare seats available Bus Éireann will allocate tickets for the spare seats using an agreed selection process.
Bus Éireann have confirmed that the service that operates from Kildalkey to Trim Post Primary Centre is operated by a 53 seat vehicle.
There were 6 mainstream eligible tickets issued and 47 mainstream concessionary tickets issued for this service.
As part of the temporary alleviation measures, 12 mainstream concessionary pupils were given the opportunity to avail of transport on a minibus.
Of these 12 mainstream concessionary pupils, 10 mainstream concessionary pupils have made a payment and are availing of transport.