Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Ceisteanna (109)

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

109. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a reply will issue to correspondence (details supplied) on a school transport issue from Carlingford to Dundalk, County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37813/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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.  

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.

Children are generally eligible for school transport if they satisfy the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school.

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

Bus Éireann has confirmed that the pupil referred to by the Deputy is deemed mainstream eligible to the school referred to by the Deputy.

The onus is on the parent to ensure that correct payment is made to Bus Éireann so that applications for transport are valid and can be processed appropriately.  Bus Éireann has confirmed that  in this case full payment was not received within the application process timelines.

Bus Eireann has further confirmed that the service in question is operating to capacity.