Seanad debates

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

School Transport

2:30 pm

Photo of Robbie GallagherRobbie Gallagher (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister for her response.

I respectfully ask the Department officials to expedite the review as much as possible. It is important that it is comprehensive. I look forward to the outcome but there is a sense of urgency with it because we need to get our house in order for next year.

Some operators tell me there are issues with regard to solutions. There is a particular issue with the buses and another issue getting people to drive them. I could be working for a private operator taking schoolchildren to a football match and back to school again.If I were to work for Bus Éireann, however, I would not be able to drive those same children home to their mums and dads in the evening or to collect them in the morning. That does not make sense.

I have spoken to operators who say of the tendering system that the quality of the buses in use needs to be taken into consideration and that it should not be the cheapest tender in this instance that wins the award because there are issues with payments for drivers. That needs to be reflected in the tenders if we are to have a bus service going forward.


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