Primary School Transport Scheme

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The Primary School Transport Scheme is a vital service that ensures children have access to education, even if they live a considerable distance from their local primary school. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the scheme, including eligibility criteria, application details, and important updates.

What is the Primary School Transport Scheme?

The Primary School Transport Scheme is a government-funded initiative designed to provide transportation for children residing 3.2 km or more from their nearest primary school. The Department of Education is responsible for financing this program.

For the 2023-2024 school year, the School Transport Scheme commenced on August 28, 2023.

Learn more about the School Transport Scheme 2023-2024

Who Can Use the School Transport Scheme?

To be eligible for the School Transport Scheme, a child must:

  • Be aged between 4 and 12 years.
  • Reside 3.2 km or more from the nearest suitable national school.

Children with special needs are also entitled to free transport to and from special schools and special classes. If there are available seats, children who do not meet these criteria can still use the school transport service.

Explore School Transport Scheme FAQs

How to Apply for the School Transport Scheme

The School Transport Scheme is operated by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. If your child is enrolling in a national school for the first time, you can apply for school transport online via the Bus Éireann website.

Applications for the 2023-2024 school year closed on April 28, 2023. To ensure consideration, medical card details or ticket payments were required by June 9, 2023. Applications submitted after this date are considered late and do not guarantee a seat.

Contact Bus Éireann for School Transport Queries

Pupils from Ukraine

Families from Ukraine seeking school transport information should visit for guidance on the application process. They should not apply through the Bus Éireann website. Applications will continue to be accepted as families are relocated or new families arrive.

Payment of School Transport Fees

For the 2023-2024 school year, the School Transport Scheme fee for a primary school child is €50, while for a post-primary school child, it’s €75. The maximum fee for a family is capped at €125.

Ticket payments or submission of medical card details were required on the Bus Éireann website by June 9, 2023. Late payments or submissions are not guaranteed a seat.

Establishing and Retaining a School Transport Service

To maintain a school transport service in a specific area, there must be an adequate number of children eligible to use the service. This typically necessitates an average of at least 10 eligible children attending their nearest suitable school within the area.

Closed or Merged Schools

Specific rules apply when schools close or merge. These rules were last updated for the 2011-2012 school year. Children in closed school areas living within 3.2 km of a ‘school of amalgamation’ are generally not eligible for transport to that school but may apply for concessionary transport if seats are available.

Remote Area Grants

Remote area grants are provided by the Department to contribute to the costs of private transport for eligible pupils without access to a school transport service. These grants may also apply to pupils residing 3.2 km or more from the nearest pick-up point for school transport.


If you wish to appeal a decision regarding your application for school transport, you can download the appeal form and submit it to the School Transport Appeals Board via the Department of Education.

Where to Apply

Department of Education School Transport Section Portlaoise Road Tullamore Offaly Ireland

Tel: (057) 932 5466/7 Locall: 0818 919 910 Fax: (057) 932 5477 Visit the Department of Education’s School Transport page Email:

Ensuring access to education is a top priority in Ireland, and the Primary School Transport Scheme plays a crucial role in achieving this goal. For further information or assistance, reach out to the relevant authorities mentioned above. Primary School Transport Scheme

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