Dáil Éireann - Volume 685 - 18 June, 2009

Written Answers. - School Transport.

Deputy Edward O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will inves[405] tigate the possibility of having a larger size bus put in place for persons (details supplied) in County Cork. [24264/09]

  Deputy Seán Haughey: Under the terms of my Department’s Primary School Transport Scheme, pupils who reside 3.2 kilometres or more from, and are attending, their nearest suitable national school as determined by my Department, are eligible for free school transport.

However, pupils not attending their nearest national school may avail of concessionary fare-paying transport to another school, provided:

(a) the written agreement of the board of management of the nearest school is secured;

(b) there are spare seats available on the bus; and

(c) no extra State cost is incurred by extending or re-routing the service.

In general, school transport is arranged for eligible pupils and spare seats on the bus may be allocated to concessionary pupils. In this case, Bus Éireann has advised that the increase in contributions from the additional pupils referred to by the Deputy, in the details supplied, would not meet the extra cost of providing a larger bus.

Parents should continue to liaise with their local Bus Éireann office regarding the availability of spare seats.