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School Bus, Bus Eireann

  • 07-09-2022 8:36am
    Registered Users Posts: 5

    I am highly disappointed with the School Bus transport system not issuing tickets for my son who is in his last year in post-primary school, If he travelled for all these years suddenly how he is not given a ticket this year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 561 ✭✭✭jethrothe2nd

    I think there were a lot of disappointed/annoyed parents this year. I suspect half the problem is the fact that it is free this school year, which massively drove up the number of applications. My understanding is that where there was over subscription for a service names were picked through a lottery system, but that is only anecdotal.

    We fought hard to even get a bus in the first place, and I think what is particularly frustrating for a lot of parents is that a number of those who applied (probably because it was free) and were given a ticket, then chose not to send their kids on the bus after all, meaning others who really needed it lost out needlessly. Whether Bus Eireann will/can re-distribute these tickets I don't know. 

    I don't think Bus Eireann always do themselves a favour when it comes down to communication, but I think this year they had a real challenge on their hands. 

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 AparnaS

    Thanks for your detailed response but they must be fair to those who paid every year and how can they leave that child out and use a random lottery system and become uncontactable either by phone or email? I really want to make a complaint and have done but besides automated email nothing else from them, it is a completely failed service

  • Registered Users Posts: 216 ✭✭Dr Karl

    The Department of Education in Offaly run the scheme their phone no is 057 9325466. Don't let them fob you off. From the website it seems there is no logic to how it is run Cork and Kilkenny are together and Limerick is in with Mayo.

    You can always make an FOI or Data Protection Access Request to the Department HQ to see what info they have on your son. If he is over 18 he can to so himself.

    If you are not happy make a complaint to the Ombudsman's Office today as the FOI/Access Request may take a few weeks especially with WFH.

    Also contact all your local TDs let them cause a fuss with the Department of Education.

    This Department is as bad if not worst than the HSE.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,815 ✭✭✭Deeec

    Its ridiculous that a child who has been on the bus every year is left without a ticket. Existing bus users should have been given their tickets first and new users should have been left without tickets.

    Now the system was different this year - in July you had to actually log in and request a ticket for your child (even though you had already applied in April). Did you do this - Im guessing this may have caught some parents out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 687 ✭✭✭Subzero3

    Parents could Start Blocking the bus with their cars as a protest until the government/department get the hint.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,857 ✭✭✭creedp

    It never ceases to amaze me how this country operates. We seem to love the hard cut off for services, where its free to some and, based on some arbitrary and often nonsensical criteria, the rest can basically feck off and look after themselves.

    I've 3 kids in post primary and have no public scholl bus service. Left to the whims of private providers who seem to think they are doing you a favour providing the service at €25 per person pw. Same with commuting, the Govt is falling over itself to show how supportive it is by reducing fares for those lucky enough to have a public transport system option whereas the rest of us have to cough up to cover fare increases with no support whatsoever. And that's just the beginning with what has been sound bite Govts in this country for years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 561 ✭✭✭jethrothe2nd

    Just to stress again, I don't know for a fact that a lottery system was used - I only heard that anecdotally. And if that is how it was done, I completely agree that it would have been fairer to first issue tickets to those who had them the previous year. And I certainly don't disagree in relation to communication. In your shoes I would absolutely appeal. Just note that I appealed last year and it wasn't dealt with until several months later.

    What is clear though, is that this is not just a problem created by Bus Eireann. While the intention is good, and much appreciated, a free service will always invite applications because it is free as opposed to it being needed. So while the process Bus Eireann used was not optimal, parents also have some responsibility.

  • Registered Users Posts: 216 ✭✭Dr Karl

    Agree with the commuting commons. The day congestion charges were introduced in London 300 additional buses were added to the service, what will happen here? Additional charges, no additional services. Heuston Station which serves all the cities in the state is miles from Dublin City Center. The Luas is not safe and the bus witch connects the city center to the train station comes from Co Wicklow.

  • Registered Users Posts: 112 ✭✭chillinpenguin

    Not sure of the exact system but I believe the routes work as follows.

    People apply for spots on a route, and the route is deemed viable and sent out to tender by Bus Eireann.

    There is a cut-off distance from the school (not sure how that's calculated) and anyone at or beyond that distance gets a seat on the bus.

    For argument's sake, 16 children have been deemed viable for the route so the Bus company that has tendered for the route must provide 16 spots, however, if the driver/company happens to have a 22-seater they are willing to use on the route they can then offer up the additional 6 seats. These seats are based on a lotto system and not guaranteed every year but can be offered to children closer to the school

    So if another child was to start in the school and they lived beyond the threshold distance they are automatically entitled to a seat and one of the children occupying the 6 free seats the previous year would get bumped off. - or another case could be that the company has another route where they have to provide more caacity per contract they could take off the 22 seaters they had been using for several years on your route and put on a smaller 16-seater as the contract would only be for 16 seats.

    Hope that explains some of the mess.

  • Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭sasco

    I've heard is was a lottery system too for anyone on a concessionary ticket. It was so badly handled and to be fair to Bus Eireann apparently they only had advance notice of the government announcing it by 1 day. If they were not given additional funds to organise more buses there wasn't much they could do.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,643 ✭✭✭Furze99

    Our experience was that the system was very opaque and not fit for purpose. You could start with routes, these were often decided when schools were amalgamated decades ago. Getting BE to change a route to suit changing location of families was utterly intractable in our experience. Then there's the whole business of catchment areas - there are catchment areas for school enrolment and catchment areas for school transport and again we found they didn't overlap at all. We were in the catchment area of a school but not in the BE catchment area! Basically some families always got (free) tickets, we were concessionary and paid but eventually gave up when they continued to **** us around year after year and just ended up driving. Maybe that's the state policy, make the service so hard to use that people just give up on it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 AparnaS

    I would love to do that but my son will never allow me and will be too embarrassed about my behaviour. I really want to protest this irrational decision-making and putting working parents under immense pressure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 AparnaS

    The worst thing is there is a place on the bus but he won't get a ticket and I can't talk to anyone as all routes of communication are inaccessible. After paying 650 Euro for my two boys every year, the first time it is free I am not getting a ticket, Concessionary and all these criteria are just made to harass parents, public transport is so poor in Meath and the least they can do is to let child attend school

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,815 ✭✭✭Deeec

    I asked this question above but maybe you missed it - Did you log into the bus eireann website and apply for the ticket in July ( you had to do this even if you had already applied earlier in the year). Alot of parents seemed to have missed the email regarding this that was sent in July. Im just wondering if its relavent in your case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 AparnaS

    I did go into Portal and made a payment which was refunded later into my account so I applied in Portal on 1st July, All other children in village got ticket I want to know what is the criteria?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,815 ✭✭✭Deeec

    After the announcement that school travel was free this year you had to log into the portal again and request a free ticket for your child - you had to do this even if you had already paid. It looks like that's why your child didn't get a ticket. You should have received an email about this. Many others were caught out by this too and thought their earlier application stood. Contact bus eireann and maybe there may be a seat still available - say you never got the email in July.