Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (237)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

237. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills when school transport will be available to children (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47823/19]

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. Under the terms of my Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kilometres from and are attending their nearest education centre as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann has advised that the child in question is not attending her nearest post primary centre and is therefore not eligible for school transport.

Children who are not eligible for school transport may apply for transport on a concessionary basis. Concessionary transport is subject to a number of terms and conditions including the availability of spare seats on an existing service once all eligible children have been catered for and payment of the annual charge.

The family is advised to liaise with their local Bus Éireann office regarding the availability of transport on a concessionary basis.