Bus group seeks tender for school transport
THE GROUP challenging Bus Éireann’s right to provide school transport services has written to the Government pledging to drop all further legal action if the Department of Education puts it out to tender.
Last week, the High Court ruled against a claim by US multinational-backed Student Transport Scheme (STS) that the department should put the service out to tender in line with general public procurement practice.
The court awarded costs against STS yesterday, but put a stay on it pending an appeal to the Supreme Court. The group intends going ahead with the appeal. However, it confirmed that it has written to Minister of State for Education Ciarán Cannon, saying it will not do so if the department puts the service out to tender.
STS last July challenged the arrangement whereby State-owned Bus Éireann provides the service to the Department of Education, arguing that this was a contract and should be put out to tender.
The group is backed by US multinational Navistar, which manufactures buses and trucks. If it were to win the contract, part of its plans involved establishing a bus manufacturing plant in the Republic.
STS, which also has the support of a number of private operators, says it could provide the service for less than the €160 million paid to Bus Éireann.