The national portal for Bus Éireann's School Transport Scheme opens today for the 2023/2024 academic year.
Thousands of primary and secondary school students were impacted last year by the waiver of fees, as those who didn't necessarily need a ticket, availed of one for convenience which as a result left other students without their much-needed place on the school bus.
Another factor in the school transport issue last year included students being allocated school places further afield of their local schools - which meant transport may not have been available to them. Some services by providers were also limited.
Chief Executive of Bus Éireann, Stephen Kent has confirmed to Beat news that the eligibility criteria that applies to the scheme is currently under review by Ministers.
This year there'll be new, reduced charges of €50 per student at primary level and €75 per student at post-primary level, with a cap per family of €125.
A recent announcement by Government means that, "ticket-holders will save up to €50 at primary and €275 at post-primary, with an overall reduction in the family maximum contribution of €525 compared to the fees for 2021/2022 school year. This reduction in fees is at a cost of €49 million.
"Currently over 148,800 children are transported on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country."
Speaking to Beat News the Chief Executive of Bus Éireann, Stephen Kent, says they're trying to meet demanding numbers
"We had 151,000 children that we brought on to services this year. That's the largest ever and a 20% increase over the previous year.
"We've population growth over the next ten years going to significantly grow s o all of the trajectory is about a more populous Ireland. So, yes there's going to be more growth that's going to have to be accommodated."
You can register or access more information on the official site here.