Thursday, 28 May 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
196. Deputy Jimmy Deenihan asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will introduce some form of easy payment option for school transport charges for the 2009/2010 academic year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22008/09]
Minister of State at the Department of Education and Science (Deputy Seán Haughey): School transport ticket invoices for the 2009/2010 School Year will be issued by Bus Eireann in July 2009. The payment options being offered to parents are as follows:
Parents who pay 50% of the annual amount by the deadline date of 31 July, 2009 will be issued with a ticket valid for travel up to 22 December, 2009. The balance due must be paid by 4th December, 2009. Upon receipt of this payment a second ticket valid for travel up to the end of the school year in June, 2010 will be issued.
On-line payment facilities have been introduced by Bus Éireann to make it more convenient for parents to make their payment from home, if desired. This facility is made available when ticket invoices are issued and the option to use a credit or debit card is offered.
I would highlight the fact that school transport charges have been confined to eligible post-primary children and children availing of concessionary transport. Charges continue to be waived in the case of eligible post-primary children where the family is in possession of a valid medical card. Eligible children attending primary schools and children with special needs will still travel free. A maximum family rate of €650 will also be applied.
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