Dáil Éireann - Volume 481 - 15 October, 1997
Written Answers - School Transport.
Mr. Stanton Mr. Stanton
130. Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Education and Science the cost of operating the school transport scheme for primary schools nationwide during the past school year; the estimated cost of operating the scheme during the current school year; whether there is any flexibility in the operation of the scheme to cope with demographic changes; the way in which this flexibility is administered; the person who makes the final decision on the operation of the scheme where changes of bus routes are requested by parents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16539/97]
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin) Micheál Martin
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): The cost of operating the primary school transport scheme was £21.010 million in 1996-97, and is estimated at £21.535 million for the 1997-98 school year.
Bus Éireann operates the school transport scheme as agents of my Department. Each year all existing routes are reviewed by Bus Éireann in order to deploy available resources in the most efficient and cost effective manner. This review also takes cognisance of demographic changes having regard to the eligibility of pupils. In exceptional cases, a service may be altered during the school year should circumstances so require.
All information regarding the existing level of service, and the mileage and cost involved in changing routes, is supplied to my Department by Bús Éireann. Factors such as safety, incovenience to other pupils, and waiting times must also be addressed. Final decisions on changes to bus routes are the responsibility of my Department.
Dáil Éireann 481 Written Answers School Transport.