Bus Éireann expects all families to have tickets by end of next week

Bus Éireann expects every family who paid their children’s school bus fares should have their tickets by the end of next week.

Bus Éireann expects all families to have tickets by end of next week

The company has sent out around 3,500 tickets during the week as it tries to catch up with a backlog caused largely by problems with a new centralised online system for processing and issuing tickets.

An estimated 116,000 children will travel on the school transport system this year, but the payment deadline was extended by a week to August 1 when the upgraded online registration and payment system used by 70% of families ran into technical difficulties.

Bus Éireann is also printing and posting all school bus tickets from Dublin for the first time this year, having previously issued them from regional offices.

It has now issued tickets for 88,400 children, but 20,500 were issued temporary tickets by email if their tickets were still being finalised since August 20 to ensure pupils would have documentation to allow them travel. However, as most second-level schools reopened this week, anybody who had neither a ticket or a temporary one has been allowed to show proof of payment to be accommodated, in a relaxation of the normally stricter rules.

“Bus Éireann are very happy to report that we have significantly closed the gap of outstanding tickets to be issued, from 6,000 earlier this week to around 2,500 now, and our staff members are working across the weekend to expedite the issuing of these,” a spokeswoman said.

“A significant number of these tickets are being issued to parents who have paid late. All pupils who have a ticket, temporary email ticket or receipt of payment, are eligible for transport and will be carried on our school bus network,” she said.

The company said that the applications for school bus transport from 230 families who paid by cash, cheque or postal order rather than online after the August 1 closing date have yet to be processed.

It is understood that the families of as many as 20,000 children do not apply for seats on school buses each year until after the first term has started.

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