Bus Éireann announces a Smart Ticketing trial for almost 400 pupils using school transport services in Kells, Co. Meath 

  • A new smart ticketing trial has been launched on school transport services in the Kells area
  • Up to 400 pupils travelling to and from Primary and Post Primary schools in the Meath town are participating in the trial
  • The trial will run until the end of December

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education transporting over 148,000 students each school day. The Department of Education in conjunction with Bus Éireann has recently launched a smart ticketing initiative to improve customer experience for pupils and parents using Bus Éireann school transport services. The trial will run until the end of December.

Almost 400 pupils aged 6-16 from over 275 families from the local Kells community will use smart ticket fobs instead of paper tickets to access schools transport services. Pupils will tag on every day before boarding their school bus. The driver will scan each ticket fob with GPS-enabled on-board devices capturing information about the bus journey, stopping locations and details of distance travelled. The trial will also support future development of school transport services by capturing data on travel patterns. 

Stephen Kent, Chief Executive Officer of Bus Éireann said: “This is a really exciting time for school transport, and I am delighted that five schools in Kells, Co. Meath can trial this smart ticketing system. Smart tickets will make it more convenient and easier for pupils to tag on and tag off while travelling on our bus services. This exciting pilot is another contribution to our sustainability strategy and safety onboard buses.

“We hope that a successful trial will allow the Department of Education and Bus Éireann to develop a more detailed design for future Schools Transport ticketing technology to deliver greater insight into travel patterns and assist with planning deliver of School Transport services. 

“I would like to thank the schools, parents, pupils, drivers and contractors in Kells who have all worked with us to embrace this trial, which is critical to the success of the pilot” ended Stephen Kent.  

The smart ticketing pilot will cover bus loading, confirmation of service delivered and digitalisation of route maps and will provide both the Department of Education and Bus Éireann with real time information on utilisation of capacity on board School Transport services. 

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