Sinn Féin TDs Darren O’Rourke and Martin Kenny today called on the Minister for Transport and Minister for Education to resolve the ongoing chaos in the school transport system, which is seeing thousands of students denied a place on their local school bus this year.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD said:
“This year a record number of children will be refused a place on their school bus due to poor planning by this government.
“It seems no preparation was done during the year and instead, the government has walked into yet another avoidable mess.
“Public transport is now moving to 100% capacity, but school buses are to remain at 50%.
“That means a student in Dublin can get to school with Dublin Bus at full capacity, but a student down the road in Meath, is denied a seat on their local school bus due to half-capacity and has to find alternative arrangements.
“I can’t understand this inconsistent approach. We have asked the Minister for Education and Minister for Transport if they sought advice from NPHET on this, but we are still awaiting an answer from either of them.”
Martin Kenny, TD for Sligo-Leitrim, said:
“This school bus chaos is having a major impact in rural areas.
“School bus transport is a vital service in rural Ireland, where walking and cycling simply are not an option for students.
“Despite over 80% of over-12s now being fully vaccinated, the situation this year is worse than last year with more students than ever set to miss out on a place on the scheme.
“Minister Foley and Minister Ryan need to address this issue as a matter of urgency.
“It is simply not good enough that they have let it get to this point already.”