24 August 2019
By Bryan Smyth
Cork South West Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Jim Daly, has proposed to Bus Eireann a technical solution that would save hundreds of families the dreaded wait for the morning school bus.
In a letter to Bus Eireann CEO, Stephen Kent, Minister Daly has asked could a real-time passenger information system be implemented on rural school buses.
Minister Daly said, “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.”
“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.”
In a letter received from Bus Eireann, Stephen Kent, acknowledged the success of the real-time information in large urban areas, as since it has been rolled out Bus Eireann have seen a significant increase in passenger journeys.
Mr. Kent, furthermore, went on to agree with Minister Daly that such a project in rural Ireland would be beneficial to families.
Concluding Minister Daly said, “ It is encouraging to see that 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.”