Bus Éireann has announced that all students who have paid for tickets will be carried on school buses after a computer problem resulted in many Clare families not receiving their tickets on time.
The company blamed “technical glitches” and late payments for the problems experienced by some families. This is the first year that tickets are being issued through a central reservation system and not by the 11 regional school transport offices.
The company issued a statement on Tuesday apologising for “any inconvenience this has caused” and asked for patience “as we work through a small backlog, owing to the introduction of the new online school transport system last month complicated by the large proportion of late payments. There were some technical glitches with the new system that were promptly rectified and we extended the payment dateline by one week earlier this month, to alleviate any inconvenience this may have caused”.
The company said it has issued the vast majority of school tickets required for students using the School Transport Scheme this term.
“To allay any concerns for the minority of parents who have not yet received these in the post, the company has decided to issue temporary email tickets to any families whose tickets have been processed since Wednesday August 20. Bus Éireann will also accept receipt of payment or email confirmation from anyone who paid before the deadline of August 1 last. This is a temporary interim measure to ensure all passengers who have paid will have access to our services. We also continue to operate our Freephone helpline number 1800 945 945 from 9am to 8pmand would ask any parents or guardians with concerns or queries, to contact this number,” a statement from the company said.
It also said that the 85,000 tickets issued is only slightly behind the figure that was issued at the same stage last year.
Tuesday was the first day of term for secondary school and according to Bus Éireann, “we have had no reports of operational issues and all pupils have been collected and taken to their schools as normal. All school transport provision is in order and services are running normally.”
Any parents who pay late for their tickets will have them issued to them in due course, but submitting payments late increases the possibility of a delay in receiving a ticket.
According to the statement, “We will endeavour to have all tickets to all families as soon as possible however and our school transport staff are working overtime to ensure this.”
Parents should register online at www.buseireann.ie if they have not already done so. Agents are also at hand with advice and information on Freephone helpline 1800 945 945.