In Dimbach, Luftenberg and other communities in the Perg district, school transport is not guaranteed – as reported – one week before school starts. “We’ve been trying to find a solution here for a few weeks, but as a municipality, our hands are actually tied here,” says Dimbach Mayor Manfred Fenster (SP). “The bus companies can’t find drivers because the framework conditions for cost-covering transport aren’t in place,” explains Fenster.
The so-called occasional traffic is affected by the failures, i.e. those mostly minibuses that are used in the countryside exclusively to transport school children. Upper Austria’s Transport Provincial Councilor Günther Steinkellner (FP) recently offered to integrate occasional services into the Upper Austrian Transport Association (OÖVV). For this, however, the OÖVV would have to be provided with the necessary financial resources by the responsible family minister, Susanne Raab (VP).
In view of the new school year starting next Monday, time is of the essence, says Luftenberg’s Mayor Hilde Prandner. In your community, the long-standing contractual partner for kindergarten and school transport can no longer offer its service for the new school year due to a lack of staff. In the meantime, the Rammerstorfer bus company has agreed to provide nine-seater vehicles if appropriate staff with a B driving license can be found. There is currently a call for bus drivers for school and kindergarten traffic. Irrespective of this, Prandner also expects a change in the framework conditions: “I expect that the Federal Minister will raise the tariffs so that the children in the affected communities can safely go to school.”
SPÖ collects signatures
Political pressure is now coming primarily from the SPÖ in the Perg district. At the weekend, it started a district-wide signature campaign for a parliamentary citizens’ initiative. “We were able to collect more than 800 signatures in the first three days. The need for a quick solution is clearly visible,” says SPÖ district chairman Erich Wahl. In the coming days, one wants to collect signatures for the citizens’ initiative in order to submit them to Parliament for consideration. “We want to send a clear signal that every child has the right to a safe route to school,” says Walter Hofstätter, chairman of the district’s social-democratic community representatives.
motion in Parliament
Sabine Schatz, a member of the National Council in Perger, also took up the call for a political solution for the affected families. She submitted a motion to the Minister for Family Affairs in Parliament: “The fact that so shortly before school starts for many school children it is still not clear how they can get to school every day presents many families with incredible challenges.” You can support the initiative for ensuring school transport on the homepage: https://schulweg.spooe.at/