Wait and hope is all that distraught parents can do at this stage, as they await a decision by Bus Eireann as to whether their child /children will secure a concessionary school bus ticket for the upcoming academic year. That’s according to Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Lisa Chambers.
She insists that the money is in place by the Dept of Education to meet the new demand for school bus tickets this year, after the government announced that it has suspended school bus fees for the academic year 2022/23, however, Bus Eireann must now recruit drivers and secure vehicles to provide the service.
Across the region at present there are many parents, who had always paid up to 500 euro annually for their children to avail of concessionary school bus tickets to get to primary and post primary schools, who are now being told that there may not be any places for their children on the service this year, as a result of the surge in demand now that the service is free.
130,000 applications have been made to Bus Eireann for school bus tickets as of the end of last month, and that’s a 44,000 increase on the demand last year.
While tickets are being issued by Bus Eireann daily, only 100,000 of the 130,000 needed have been issued as yet.
Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley has been speaking to Senator Chambers about the problem now facing many parents, days before their children return to school, because the government announced a change to the school transport service without the necessary resources in place..