School Transport

  • Families are to receive refunds for school transport fees at the end of the academic year.

    The Department of Education says it will then know the exact period of closures.

    Parents are also being reminded that applications for the scheme, for the next school year, close today.

    Bus contractors will continue to receive a 50 percent payment while schools are closed.

  • Problems with the school transport system have been highlighted in the Dail today, as hundreds of students across the region are left without a place on a school bus, now that schools have reopened.

    On our lunchtime news earlier, Mayo Sinn Fein Rose Conway-Walsh outlined some of the issues she would be raising today with the Education Minister.

    Meanwhile, Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary met with Minister Norma Foley today, and said the only way to resolve the problem is through additional capacity.

    Deputy Calleary told Midwest News that he has asked the Minister for a weekly report on the issue, and says it's up to her Department to access more buses that can be used for school transport.

  • It's not good enough that hundreds of school children are left without a place on a school bus, now that schools have reopened.

    That's according to Mayo Sinn Fein TD Rose Conway-Walsh, who's calling on the Education Minister and the Government to step in and find a resolution to the issue.

    With buses carrying second-level students operating at 50% capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions, this is adding to the shortage of places, but Deputy Conway-Walsh says there are always problems at this time of year with the school transport scheme.

    The Erris-based TD told Midwest News that she's raising the matter once again today with the Education Minister Norma Foley.

  • As students prepare to return to both primary and second-level schools, there are concerns over how the school bus service will operate - that's according to Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

    The school transport system will run as normal for primary school pupils, with buses running at full capacity.

    However, the Education Minister Norma Foley announced last week that buses for secondary school students will only be permitted to run at 50% capacity - which would mean needing over 1500 extra buses nationally.

    Deputy Fitzmaurice has questioned where these buses will come from, and says many bus companies are already struggling to find drivers for the buses they have - as some previous drivers have found alternative work during the lockdown.

    The Independent TD is also questioning the decision to compensate parents who decide to drive their children to school, rather than opting for the school bus service.

    If this means the numbers availing of the bus then drop below the minimum threshold of ten, he asks does this mean the bus will then be cancelled?

    Deputy Fitzmaurice says we cannot allow the number of students who avail of discretionary school transport to be reduced, or the number of bus routes to drop because of last week's decision.

    He says the Education Minister has a number of questions to answer in relation to the school transport scheme.