Frequently Asked Questions

The full terms of the Primary School Transport Scheme and the Post Primary School Transport Scheme are available on the Department of Education and Skills website.

Who is Eligible for School Transport?
How do I know if my child is eligible?
What is Concessionary transport?
Can ineligible children still get school transport?
What is a ‘scheduled service’?
Can I have a home pick up?
Is School Transport provided during the period of a Status Red Weather Warning?
Can I obtain a refund if the service doesn’t operate due to bad weather conditions?
What if my nearest school is full?
All you need to know about applying & paying for School Transport
When are ticket issued?
Can I use my receipt for travel until I receive a ticket?
Can I use the ticket to travel home after games or homework club etc?
My child no longer requires School Transport. What should I do?
My child did not get a seat on School Transport. How do I apply for a refund?
Personal circumstances

Who is Eligible for School Transport?

Primary school children who live more than 3.2 kms from their nearest national school as determined by the Department of Education & Skills / Bus Éireann.

Post-Primary school children who live more than than 4.8 kms from their nearest education centre as determined by the Department of Education & Skills / Bus Éireann.

Regard to language and religious ethos apply on both schemes.

School children with special educational needs arising from a diagnosed disability are eligible for transport having regard to available resources.

How do I know if my child is eligible?

Apply for first-time children online with Bus Éireann on or before the last Friday in April.

Bus Éireann determines eligibility by checking the distance from the nearest school to the child’s home.

You will receive a preliminary eligibility notice by selecting your home on the online map when applying online. School Transport is subject to the availability of a suitable service in your area. If your child is eligible for school transport and there is a suitable service available in your area you will receive an email requesting payment in late June / early July. If there is no transport service available, and you have applied by the closing date of the last Friday in April you may entitled to receive a Remote Area Grant. Details of this grant are available on the Department of Education and Skills website.

What is Concessionary transport?

Children who are not eligible for school transport but who have applied for transport on a concessionary basis may be accommodated if there is a suitable service available, provided there is spare capacity on the service and the appropriate charge is paid. Concessionary transport is not available on public scheduled services. Confirmation of the availability of a concessionary seat will not be known until early August

Can ineligible children still get school transport?

Yes. Transport may be available on a concessionary basis. Children who are not eligible must pay the charge. Apply online.

What is a ‘scheduled service’?

A scheduled service is a public bus or rail service which is open to the general public to use, in contrast to a school bus service which only carries schoolchildren.

Can I have a home pick up?

Home pick-ups are not a general feature of the Primary or Post Primary Schemes. Where practicable, and subject to considerations of cost and logistics, routes are planned to avoid an eligible Post Primary child having to travel more than 3.2 kilometres to or from a pick up/set down, or more than 2.4 kilometres to or from a pick up/set down point in the case of a Primary child. Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring that children are brought safely to and collected safely from Bus Éireann designated pick up and set down points.

Is School Transport provided during the period of a Status Red Weather Warning?

All services provided by Bus Éireann under the Department of Education and Skills School Transport Schemes will be cancelled in the affected area if a Status Red warning is announced for all or part of a given day. For further details please refer to the Bus Éireann website.

Can I obtain a refund if the service doesn’t operate due to bad weather conditions?

All Bus Éireann services may be subject to alteration or cancellation without notice for reasons beyond the control of Bus Éireann. On occasions where snow, fog, or other adverse weather conditions prevail, or the state of the roads is unusually difficult or if for any reason whatsoever roads or sections of roads are closed to traffic, it may be necessary to vary the times of Bus Éireann services or to suspend their operation without notice. Bus Éireann shall not be liable for any loss, damage, delay or expense arising as a result of such circumstances outside the control of Bus Éireann.

What if my nearest school is full?

Eligibility is determined based on the distance that you live from your next nearest school with regard to ethos and language. If the Department is satisfied that your nearest school is full Parents must provide:

  • Evidence that an application for enrolment was made within the deadline dates specified by the school.
  • A letter from the school authorities confirming that the school was full.
  • A copy of the decision reached following an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998. The Act provides for an appeal by a parent to the Secretary General of the Department where a Board of Management of a school has refused to enrol a child.

All you need to know about applying & paying for School Transport

You can apply online on the Bus Éireann School Transport webpage.
Applications must be received online by the last Friday in April each year

Only new pupils need to apply, or those who change address/school. Your child continues in the scheme if there is no change in his/her circumstances.

Information about paying for School Transport

You can pay for your School Transport from the end of June. The closing date is the last Friday in July. All payments received after this date will be deemed ‘late payments’

You can pay on line at buseireann.ie or offline by sending a cheque/postal order/money order to your local Bus Éireann School Transport Office.

Children who join a service before the Christmas holidays pay the full annual charge. Children who join a service from January onwards pay a pro-rata charge for the remainder of the school year.

Can I spread the payment over the school year?
Yes. Pay either in full by the last Friday in July or 50% by the last Friday in July and make regular payments to clear your balance by the last Friday in November.

Do I pay a reduced charge for my children on morning/afternoon only?
No. Each child is allocated an individual seat to and from school each day for the school year, whether availed of or not.

Can I still pay once the closing date for payment has passed?
Yes. Pay online at buseireann.ie as soon as possible for any spare seats that are available. Any money paid is refunded if no seats are available.

When are tickets issued?

Tickets for eligible children who have paid/submitted Medical Card details on time are generally posted shortly before schools resume. Any payments for which no seats remain are refunded. The refund is only processed after the schools have started to allow every effort to accommodate the child by making operational changes where possible.

Can I use my receipt for travel until I receive a ticket?

No. One ticket is issued per seat on the school bus. A valid ticket must be presented upon request by the driver at any time.

Can I use the ticket to travel home after games or homework club etc?

No. Tickets issued under the School Transport Scheme for travel on scheduled services can be used for travel up to 5pm only each school day.

My child no longer requires School Transport. What should I do?

If you child is travelling on School Transport and during the academic year, your circumstances change, then please cancel your school transport application online. If you have received your ticket, please contact your local School Transport Office quoting your family ID and make arrangements to return your school transport ticket.

How do I make a claim for a Refund?

Refunds must be applied for online. Claims for refunds, other than Medical Card refunds, will be considered solely at the discretion of Bus Éireann and will be subject to such administration charges as Bus Éireann may deem appropriate.

  • Tickets which are lost, stolen, mutilated or defaced, will not be considered for refund. Application for Replacement Tickets can be made to your local Bus Éireann School Transport Office.
  • There is no reduction for one-way, reduced, or irregular travel.
  • In order to claim a full refund of school transport fees paid for a School Year, the school transport ticket must be returned prior to the commencement of that School Year.
  • Applications for refund received after the commencement of the School Year will be considered for a partial refund only.
  • In circumstances where transport is withdrawn due to misbehaviour, damage caused, or where the ticket holder is in breach of any of the conditions under which Bus Éireann tickets are issued, no refund will be allowed.

My child did not get a seat on School Transport. How do I apply for a refund?

If you have made a payment but were unsuccessful in getting a seat, you may apply for refund. Please cancel your school transport application online.

Personal circumstances

What if I am a working parent and the transport offered is not suitable?
It is not possible or reasonable Bus Eireann to take cognisance of individual parent’s circumstances, or other commitments. In some cases where there is no additional cost to the scheme it may be possible to consider individual request. You should contact your local School Transport Office for advice.

What if I have a medical condition?
While Bus Eireann understands the impact that a Parent’s medical condition may have on facilitating a child’s attendance to school, the Scheme dictates that consideration can only be given to a medical condition held by the child and not the Parent.

What if I have shared custody of my child?
Bus Eireann is required to provide transport for pupils in accordance with the terms of the Scheme as determined by the Department of Education & Skills. Transport can only be assessed from the residence of the legal guardian of the pupil. Where custody is shared equally throughout the week, parents should determine which address the application is made from.

What if my child gets expelled from School?
You may cancel your School Transport application at any time through our online system. A refund may be due based on any fees paid. You must return your School Transport ticket(s) to qualify for a refund.