There has been a seven percent increase in the number of school bus tickets issued in Donegal for this school year.
Since school’s started back last week, a number of students, particularly in the Inishowen area have been left behind due to the lack of bus capacity.
Fees were waived for a year as part of measures to tackle the cost of living, however, it meant demand outstripped supply.
Bus Eireann says over 9,500 tickets have been issued for school transport in Donegal for the school year 2022/23, which represents an increase of 7% on the previous year.
Their records indicate that a number of pupils in the area were unsuccessful in acquiring a ticket for the 2022/23 school year as they did not complete the ticket registration process by the closing date of 29 July.
All services in this area are currently operating at full capacity.
The company is procuring additional capacity for school transport services to cater for remaining pupils who meet the qualifying criteria of the scheme.
They say additional resources are being put in place in their call centre to deal with increased call volumes.
A spokesperson for Bus Eireann says, “The normal eligibility criteria of the scheme still apply.
“Any students who do not meet these criteria are deemed not eligible, or concessionary applicants and are allocated a ticket based on the availability of a seat when all eligible children have been catered for.
“For those who have submitted applications/ticket requests after the 29 July, their application is deemed late and will be dealt with once all on time applications have been processed.
“Seats will be allocated to late applicants where capacity exists on a route.
“For safety reasons, we would advise only students with a valid ticket for school transport will be permitted to travel on school transport services.”