Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Department of Education and Skills
School Transport Fees
232. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 247 of 8 May 2019, if the maintenance charges of Bus Éireann for school transport are charged on a per mile basis in accordance with the 1975 agreement; if there were changes made to the 1975 agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29452/19]
School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.
There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.
As previously outlined to the Deputy, the 1975 Summary of Accounting Arrangements remain as the current arrangements in operation.
On an annual basis Bus Éireann provides the Department with the projected cost of school transport services together with a provisional spread of payments. These costs are broken down under the headings agreed in the 1975 arrangement which include maintenance costs.
In terms of maintenance, Bus Éireann vehicles are brought into the garage every six weeks for a full maintenance check. The maintenance charges for these vehicles are based on identified required works and are allocated on a per vehicle basis.
Bus Éireann report the maintenance costs to the Department on a monthly basis as part of the monthly operational meetings.