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Single Rural Transport

You may have read in the press recently, reports of plans by Public Transport Minister, Alan Kelly, T.D., for the joining together of services such as School Transport System, HSE related transport services, and Rural Transport Initiatives around the country. This has been the proposal of FOTO and ibus plc* for many, many years, and heralds great opportunity for private transport companies such as yours.

There is little detail around this proposal at this time and issues such as child protection, where services mix, will need to be addressed. So too will the whole contractual basis of the School Transport System itself, and if this will be put out to tender by the Government or forced through legal actions. There is a case, as you know, in front of the High Court against the Minister for Education and Science taken by a company called STS Ltd. This case may force the Minister for Education and his Department to put the School Transport Contract out to tender, and this may change the entire approach to any transport initiatives by Government.

ibus plc. awaits with interest the outcome of this case which may be heard next June. ibus plc. is now positioned to bid for this contract on behalf of it’s individual small and medium bus and coach owner subscribers. (see for details and information on becoming a subscriber). There will of course be heightened interest from multi-national transport companies and various consortiums and Joint Ventures if this contract is put out to tender, and you may have received information from one of these recently seeking your commitment. It will be the position of ibus plc. to await developments before committing to any Joint Venture or Consortium.

In the meantime, do watch out for any developments and opportunities in your area that may be “piloted” under the New Single Rural Service. These will be based on a tendering process and you should monitor both the press and the site for any announcements here.

I will keep you informed on any further developments.

John Dunne

FOTO/ibus plc.

FOTO has recently joined with the Coach Tourism and Transport Council (CTTC) PAMBO and the Licenced Bus Operators Association(LBO) under a new umbrella group called the Private Coach Bus Owners Alliance(PCBOA). This is on a trial basis, and it is hoped that through this joint approach, representations to Government will have greater credence and impact. FOTO and the CTTC will jointly fund this new alliance initially, and it is hoped that with this greater cooperation, you, and your industry, will gain benefit in areas such as Fuel Rebates, Excise, and other aspects of transport under Government control, and that can be influenced by representation.

Ibus plc* remains independent and in place as a separate entity providing small to medium individual shareholder operators the platform and alternative in any transport opportunities requiring large resource and finance. ibus plc. may itself require the alliance or Joint Venture with a major transport operation in it’s bid for the School Transport Contract and the other infra-structural concepts and transport solutions being considered. These alliances will be advised prior and privately to the ibus subscribers. See


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