Senator Aisling Dolan - Strong Voice, New Vision.

Roscommon town & Athlone town included on School Transport pilot

June 05, 2024

Roscommon town & Athlone town included on School Transport pilot

The School Transport 2030 review included a number of recommendations to expand eligibility for families.  The planned pilot projects in the 2024/2025 school year will provide valuable insights on the impact increased demand will have on the scheme, the potential to integrate public transport services with school transport services, and the facilitation of more sustainable modes of transport. The School Transport Scheme and Public Transport integration project is a joint effort between the Department of Education and the Department of Transport, supported by the National Transport Authority and Bus Éireann.

I’m delighted to receive an update from Minister Norma Foley that Roscommon Town & Athlone Town are included in the School Transport pilot. This area is one of only two areas with Limerick for the pilot roll-out of recommendations from School Transport 2030 review.

The School Transport 2030 review by a high level steering group with Department of Education and the Department of Transport was published in February this year, it noted over 160,000 students are getting on the bus to go to school. The government has given a target of bringing another 100,000 children on school transport by 2030. Every family knows the demand for transport in rural areas and the challenge in trying to pick up and drop off children as well as commuting distances to work. This will have a huge impact on families and schools across the country.

A number of recommendations from the report will also open up eligibility for more families. I’ve been advocating  for our rural region in the West to be included in the first roll-out of the pilot for school transport”

For secondary schools in the Roscommon town and Athlone areas – this pilot will focus on the demand from students from 1st year to Leaving Cert in the townlands of Knockcroghery, Lecarrow, Rahara, Kiltoom and Ballymurray.

Families in the County Roscommon pilot area will be contacted by the secondary school and the Department of Education. In the pilot area the new recommendations of reducing the eligible distance to secondary schools to 2kms will be implemented (currently 4.8kms). The recommendation for primary school is to reduce from 3.2kms to 1kms and the nearest school criteria will also be removed – these changes will take time to implement outside the pilot areas.”

For any new applicants, where children are moving to secondary school, please apply to the School Transport programme before the deadline of this Friday 7th June. For existing users, no need to re-apply applications roll-over.