‘It’s so scary’: Parents waited for school bus tickets

Many parents have been forced to contact local TDs as they have still not been able to get school bus tickets after Education Secretary Norma Foley announced free transport for students.

s schools are reopening this week, concerned parents contacted Cork Labor TD Seán Sherlock and said they still have not been notified if their child will be given a ticket.

More than 8,000 children have applied for a seat after the fee waiver was announced last month.

A total of 3,441 eligible students will be guaranteed a seat and 4,650 students will be granted a “concession” or lottery system.

Mrs Foley has now been urged by the Labor Party to step in and provide an extra fleet and seating to accommodate concession or late applicant pupils.

“The system needs to change – somehow concession ticket recipients always have to wait,” one parent wrote to Mr Sherlock.

“I had even paid half the term before the government announced the free bus (services) and would even be willing to pay the other half to get a seat.”

Another parent wrote: “We have not heard back this year and I am very concerned that my son will not be seated due to the high number of late registrations since the free promotion was announced this year.”

Others only realized after the deadline that they had missed the deadline. One parent said: “I’ve paid for the bus for six years, live less than 50 meters from the bus stop, the children are fully entitled and meet all the criteria. ”

One mother said she had applied for a ticket and although school started last Friday she had not received it.

“We live 7km from the school and when I emailed Bus Éireann they said they were waiting for discounted tickets,” she wrote. “This is really unsatisfactory as the school year has now started and we have so much uncertainty and fear as we wait to see if we get a ticket.”

Responding to parliamentary questions, Ms Foley said it was “not possible” to say how many students will get tickets for free or either through the concessionary lottery system as the program is demand driven.

“Late applications and reduced-rate applications cannot be guaranteed a ticket for student transportation services for the 2022-2023 school year,” she said.

“The parents twirled in the wind while the minister disappeared,” said Sherlock.

“The reality is that Bus Éireann can only run the system they have been instructed to run by the government.

“It’s unfair that just days before the start of the school year, with school tickets, they are caught in the firing line by parents who don’t know where they stand.”

Ms Foley raised €17 million in action this year to ensure free school transport for families next school year, saving families up to €500 on ticket costs.

The deadline for applications was the end of July and the minister promised that all eligible children would benefit from the new reform.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/its-so-much-anxiety-parents-left-waiting-for-school-bus-tickets-41945950.html ‘It’s so scary’: Parents waited for school bus tickets

Fry Electronics Team

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