Education | School transport service from Kilcock to Maynooth Education Campus
To ask the Minister for Education if a school transport service has been approved from Kilcock to Maynooth Education Campus (details supplied) for the academic year 2022/2023 given its existence in previous years and given that a number of students from Kilcock, who received tickets in previous years, did not receive a ticket this year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Details Supplied) Education Campus Maynooth
School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. In the last school year over 121,400 children, including over 15,500 children with special educational needs, were transported on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country at a cost of over €289m in 2021.
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 July 2022, Government announced funding for the waiving of school transport scheme fees for the coming school year as part of a wider package of cost of living measures.
Ticket registration for the 2022/23 school year closed on 29 July by which time almost 130,000 applications/registrations were received for mainstream school transport. This figure includes 44,299 new applications as well as roll-overs from the previous school year.
As of 1st September 2022, 121,000 tickets for the 2022/2023 school year have been issued to applicants for the new school year. The number of tickets allocated will continue to change on a daily basis as Bus Éireann continue to process all remaining applications.
The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available, as Bus Éireann are continuing to process applications and to issue tickets as soon as extra buses and drivers are sourced and become available to provide transport for the higher numbers qualifying for the service.
The normal eligibility criteria of the scheme still apply.
Pupils at primary level are eligible where they live no less than 3.2 kilometres from and are attending their nearest primary school.
At post-primary level students who live no less than 4.8 kilometres from and are attending their nearest post primary school/education centre are deemed eligible.
All children who are eligible for school transport and who complete the application process on time and who confirmed to Bus Éireann that they require a ticket by the 29th July 2022 will be accommodated on school transport services for the 2022/23 school year where such services are in operation.
Any pupils/students who do not meet these criteria are deemed not eligible, or otherwise known as concessionary, applicants and are allocated a ticket based on the availability of a seat on when all eligible children have been catered for.
Because of the nature of concessionary transport for non-eligible pupils/students and the priority of providing places for eligible ticket holders, there may be an excess of demand over supply for concessionary places, in these cases Bus Éireann will allocate tickets for spare seats using an agreed selection process.
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