School Transport Dail Questions

 


 


Uimhir:1192, 1257, 1258, 1259, 1260, 1261, 1262, 1263, 1264, 1265, 1266

Ceist Pharlaiminte


Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science


To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her plans to review the tender system which provides State sponsored bus services an unfair advantage over local, private operators (details supplied); her views that the current position is damaging local industry, undercutting the business of private operators and unfairly causing a monopoly in the transport market; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
- Michael Healy-Rae.

The current system is taking business away from long-serving workers with a knowledge of their areas and a strong working relationship with their customers.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will address a matter (details supplied) regarding Bus Éireann; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
-Michael Healy-Rae.

that Bus Eireann sub contracts 85% of school transport. Why is the administration of the 170 Million scheme contract not given to an independent entity to ensure transparency and fairness in its transactions.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the tendering process for school transport; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
-Michael Healy-Rae.

there has been substantial savings as a result of the tendering process for school transport, Have these been passed on to the state and if not why have the savings not been quantified and the provision reduced accordingly and could the actual amount of money saved on a yearly basis be actually quantified

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason vehicles that have already been legally passed through the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing system have to be further checked through Bus Éireann; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
-Michael Healy-Rae.

 



To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding school transport vehicles; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
-Michael Healy-Rae.

The Freight transport association who won the contract to check vehicles have a conflict of interest as they are actively recruiting membership and this surely leaves the whole system up for question

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the tendering process for school transport; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
-Michael Healy-Rae.

The tendering process is weighted heavily in favour of price rather than quality with vehicles up to 20 years old winning contracts and even this criteria does not apply to Bus Eireann as they are using older vehicles

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the cost to Bus Éireann of the recently purchased school buses; the source of this funding; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
-Michael Healy-Rae.

Bus Eireann recently purchased buses for school transport. Where exactly did these funds come from and how much money was involved

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position in relation to regional tendering for school transport; her views that there is no uniformity in this tendering process; and if she will make a statement on the matter.-Michael Healy-Rae.

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding school transport operations; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
-Michael Healy-Rae.

of the school transport operations who work for Bus Eireann have no independent right of appeal except through the high court which is obviously not an option available to them

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the sustainability of private operators undertaking school transport; and if she will make a statement on the matter.-Michael Healy-Rae.

The present pricing level with regard to private operators undertaking school transport is unsustainable as operators are pricing so low they will not have the funding to renew vehicles

 

 

 


To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding tender prices and tender routes(details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.-Michael Healy-Rae.

Bus Eireann do not tender out 15% of routes they manage therefore these are not subject to tender price and could the minister elaborate what exactly is happening with that 15% and how much is that 15% of routes actually costing


* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015.
Reference Number: 30737/15, 31235/15, 31236/15, 31237/15, 31238/15, 31239/15, 31240/15, 31241/15, 31243/15, 31244/15, 31245/15


Freagra


Minister of State, Damien English
I propose to take questions 1192, 1257, 1258, 1259, 1260, 1261, 1262, 1263, 1264, 1265 and 1266 together.
Bus Éireann operates the school transport scheme on behalf of my Department.
The cost of the scheme was some €172 million in 2014 which included grant payments, payments for escorts to accompany children with special educational needs as well as the cost of direct school transport services. In 2014 a total of €4.3m in savings was achieved in the reorganisation of services. However, in the same year 274 new services and 561 other service enhancements were approved
by my Department - which added €8 m to the cost of the scheme over a full year. Most of the new services were introduced to cater for children with special educational needs.

The Deputy will be aware that Bus Éireann is responsible for the procurement of contractors to provide transport services under the School Transport Scheme.In this regard, Bus Éireann has advised that the tendering procedure used by the Company for the provision of school transport services is a competitive procurement process conducted in accordance with the negotiated procedure under


Directive 2004/17/EC. Tenders are evaluated on the basis of the award criteria
and scoring tables. Bus Éireann is satisfied that the current / Price / Quality ratio of 60%  40% is appropriate for the school transport tender process. Due to the nature, volume and complexities of the School Transport Scheme, there is a requirement to establish panels of suitably pre-qualified potential service providers in each School Transport local office so that they may be invited to tender for the provision of services on School Transport Scheme routes in an efficient and effective manner.  Five year contracts are awarded, providing
additional security to contractors where previously contracts terminated at the end of each school year.  Qualification to each Panel each year is also for a 5 year period where heretofore it was for 1 year.  Each office follows the procedures set out by Bus Éireann’s Procurement Department in the conduct of the tendering arrangements nationally.
 Almost 90% of the vehicles used to deliver school transport services are provided by private operators under contract to Bus Éireann, which consist predominantly of smaller vehicles -and includes over 800 taxis.  Bus Éireann uses large capacity school buses found mainly on services to primary and post primary schools.  The Bus Éireann school bus fleet is also used as a safety net to maintain full service coverage and to provide a strategic balance between
public and privately owned services on behalf of the State. The Value for Money Review of

 


the School Transport Scheme, conducted by an Inter-Departmental Committee and published in 2011, recommended that Bus Éireann should continue to be the national organiser of the scheme and 

concluded that “no existing organisation is operating in Ireland with the range
of expertise in place, other than Bus Éireann.”  

All Bus Éireann buses and those owned by operators contracted by Bus Éireann are required to have a valid annual roadworthiness test certificate in order to be used to provide school transport services. The inspections conducted by Freight Transport Association on behalf of the Company complement the annual statutory vehicle examinations as an additional measure designed to ensure that vehicles and maintenance records are maintained to appropriate standards, consistent with RSA guidelines, in the period between annual statutory tests
taking place.
These vehicle inspections assess vehicle condition, safety, and maintenance standards of both Bus Éireann buses and buses owned by private operators employed as Contractors to provide services under the School Transport Scheme.

Bus Éireann school transport vehicles are generally maintained within a 20 year age limit and the Company is in the process of procuring an additional 20 school buses for delivery in 2016.

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