Minister Halligan has again failed to fix school bus system
Labour Councillor, and General Election Candidate for Waterford, John Pratt has called on Minister John Halligan to address the broken school bus transport system as parents receive refusal emails on concessionary tickets with the new school year just around the corner.
Cllr. Pratt said:
“Every year this issue arises and every year the Government fails to adequately address the issue. I have been contacted by parents from around Waterford whose kids have lost their concessionary bus seats ahead of the 2018 school year. They are now facing into a drawn-out appeals systems with no guarantee of success.
“These parents are hard working and are trying to do what Government claims it wants to see more of – get their kids using public transport more frequently. One has to ask how serious is the Government about getting cars off the road if they won’t properly resourced public transport schemes for rural areas.
“Since his election, and appointment to cabinet, Minister Halligan has failed to address this issue. Last year he said legislative change and funding would be needed to address the ongoing problem of concessionary seats. What is also needed is the political will to fix the problem.
“The report into the school bus system by the Department recommended, unsurprisingly, that no change should take place to the current system.
“Parents have paid for tickets for their children to go to school by public transport. Every year, having paid the ticket they’re being kicked off the bus and have to travel by car to school. We must create a supply of bus seats with parents willingly paying for tickets, as they already are, to take cars off the roads and encourage public transport use.”