A NEW initiative by a local TD could put an end to the much-dreaded wait for school buses in rural areas.
Cork South West Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Jim Daly, has asked Bus Eireann if a real time passenger information system can be implemented on rural school buses.
Such a system already exists in Cork city, Dublin and Galway with the information shared via an app. It means if your bus is arriving late, or not at all, you’ll know in advance. In a letter to Bus Eireann CEO, Stephen Kent, Minister Daly wrote: ‘I feel that if Bus Eireann were to introduce this real time tracking in the form of an app, parents and kids, could simply see how far away their bus is, cutting out the frantic rush in the morning only to be waiting at the bus stop for another 10 minutes.
‘We see in Cork, Dublin and Galway that there are real time systems in place that let commuters know if their bus is running on time or not, a simple yet very helpful piece of information for all bus users. And school buses are no different.
‘Every parent will know the arrival time of school transport can vary, and this is understandable, however keeping parents informed of the arrival time - or no arrival in the case of a breakdown - would be very helpful to parents, particularly when the weather is bad.’
In a letter received from Mr Kent, he acknowledged the success of the real time information in large urban areas.
He also agreed such a project in rural Ireland would be beneficial to families.
Minister Daly added: ‘It is encouraging to see Bus Eireann agree with my proposal and to take it a step further, have committed to working with the Department of Education and Skills to determine if this can be implemented in their future strategic planning.’