Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has been in discussions with the Department of Education for a number of years about the need to restructure the entire school transport scheme, from the geographical mapping of the ‘closest school’ policy to the application dates.
Senator Lombard said: “We know there are a number of issues that need to be resolved with regards to the school transport scheme, one of the most significant is the lack of adequate school bus places.
“Last year we were able to accommodate a lot of people literally left behind by the school transport scheme. Minister for Education, Joe McHugh, made extra funding available to provide solutions for the numerous transport shortages nationally.
“We want to be able prevent problems before they arise, so I am urging everyone to apply early, before the April 24 closing date. This will ensure that the Department and Bus Eireann will know the exact extent of transport demand and be able to appropriately provide for this.”
Senator Lombard added: “The school bus scheme is a vital service – bringing over 100,000 students and 13,000 special needs children to and from school every year – which gives parents peace of mind that their children can be safely taken into school.”