Written Answers - School Transport.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 683 No. 5

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  196.  Deputy Jimmy Deenihan  Information on Jimmy Deenihan  Zoom on Jimmy Deenihan   asked the Minister for Education and Science  Information on Batt O'Keeffe  Zoom on Batt O'Keeffe   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): Information on Seán Haughey  Zoom on 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:

Payment of the full amount by the deadline date of 31 July 2009

Spreading the amount due over two payments payable in July and December 2009.

Parents who pay the full annual charge, in advance, will benefit from ticket(s) being issued for the full school year. This arrangement includes pupils on concessionary travel.

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.

It is not envisaged that there will be a reduction in the annual charge or a change in the payment arrangements as outlined above.

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