Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (130)

Pearse Doherty


130. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration will be given to provide additional transport by Bus Éireann for students (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48160/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

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

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.

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.

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

All children who are eligible for school transport and who completed the application process on time have been accommodated on school transport services where such services were 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 were facilitated where spare seats were available after eligible children have been accommodated. Where the number of ineligible children exceeds the number of spare seats available Bus Éireann allocates tickets for the spare seats using an agreed selection process.

In regard to the area referred to by the Deputy, Bus Éireann has confirmed that all eligible and concessionary children who completed the application and payment process within timelines have been accommodated on transport services in the current school year.