A solution has been found for special education students who spend hours on the bus to school every day. An additional 11 million euros will be invested this academic year, and the problem will also be addressed in the longer term. This was mentioned by the Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peters (Open VLD).
Currently 39,500 of the 50,000 pupils in special education in Flanders use mass pupil transportation. But for years, there have been complaints about very long bus journeys: it was recently found that more than 5,500 students spend more than 3 hours on the bus per day.
Minister Peters already allocated an additional 1.8 million euros in September and now announces that an additional 11 million euros will be invested for this academic year for the use of buses, minibuses, taxis and escorts to be able to help these 5,500 students. “The most vulnerable students in our society deserve more free time and less time on the bus,” Peters says. I asked De Lijn to work on a solution with schools designed for every student.
In the long term, the goal is to reach a memorandum with the established working groups by the end of January with a structural solution that should be in place in the 2022-2023 school year.